Next-day power values could move in diverging directions Tuesday, Aug. 1, as expectations for predominantly softer demand at midweek runs counter to renewed gains at the natural gas futures arena.
Sinking 14.7 cents in the prior day, NYMEX September natural gas futures were rebounding higher early Tuesday, last pegged near $2.816/MMBtu, up 2.2 cents at 7:45 a.m. ET on light short covering.
Next-day natural gas markets are likely to tip lower in many cases Tuesday, in step with the prior day's plunge in the futures arena. However, regional weather-side support could offer prices in some areas some upside traction.
In terms of demand, load forecasts for midweek are mixed but mostly pointed lower.
In the Northeast, demand in New England should peak at 21,040 MW on Tuesday and 20,600 MW on Wednesday, while New York load could run against the wider decline as it is expected to crest at 26,447 MW on Tuesday and 26,760 MW on Wednesday. To the south, PJM Western region demand should near 66,834 MW on Tuesday and 65,705 MW in the middle of the workweek, while load in PJM Mid-Atlantic could peak at 48,731 MW on Tuesday and 46,910 MW on Wednesday.
In the Midwest, PJM AEP region load is called to reach 19,411 MW on Tuesday and 19,192 MW on Wednesday, while demand in PJM ComEd is seen hitting highs at 17,183 MW on Tuesday and 16,745 MW on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Texas load is projected to reach highs at 63,108 MW on Tuesday and 58,252 MW at midweek, while California demand is forecast to top out at 46,180 MW on Tuesday and 45,730 MW on Wednesday.
In forward action, power for September delivery was tethered to the downside overall in the week's opening session on Monday and just ahead of its debut as the front-month offering, as weakness at the natural gas futures complex implied cheaper fueling costs. Soon-to-be balance-of-month August power had a mixed showing on the day.
In the East, pricing for September power was off nearly 90 cents at an index atop $29 in New England and down more than $1 at an average of $31 at PJM West. Price activity for August power was roughly $1 stronger at an index close to $36 in New England and about 10 cents higher at an average around $35 at PJM West.
In the Midwest, a near 90-cent reduction took PJM Northern Illinois September to an average above $30, as better-than-$1 losses steered PJM AD September and MISO Indiana September to indexes atop $31 and at close to $33, respectively. Meanwhile, PJM AD August climbed by about 50 cents and PJM Northern Illinois August rose by 65 cents to indexes between $35 and $36, as MISO Indiana August fell by more than $1 to an average above $36.
In the South, price action for September power at the ERCOT hubs unraveled $1 to as much as $2 to average between $28 and $33. Regional pricing for August power delivery faltered by 90 cents to over $1 to indexes ranging roughly from $41 to $48.
In the West, both North Path-15 and South Path-15 in California saw power deals for September shed around $2 to average on either side of $37, as Mid-Columbia and Palo Verde saw similar transactions retreat by roughly $1 and fall by near $2, respectively, to indexes at about $28. Power trades for August added 50 cents to average at close to $46 in California, but slid by more than $1 to an index at $36 at Palo Verde and ascended by almost $2 to an index at approximately $39 at Mid-Columbia.
Market prices and included industry data are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailed market data, including power and natural gas index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities pages.