Next-day power prices chopped around at major market hubs around the United States on Monday, June 12, as traders looked toward varied demand outlooks for the early part of the week.
Participants also kept attuned to natural gas market activity. Gaining 1.1 cents in the June 9 session, the NYMEX July natural gas futures contract leaked lower Monday on profit taking. The front-month contract settled the Monday session at $3.024/MMBtu, down 1.5 cents.
Next-day natural gas markets at the major consuming hubs were higher for the most part in the week's opening session, in tandem with the prior session's increase in futures and more supportive weather in many areas of the country.
Northeast power prices choppy in week's opener
Next-day power markets in the Northeast were mixed Monday, against a backdrop of varied demand outlooks and rising regional gas prices.
On-peak power at the NEPOOL-Mass Hub was assessed in the mid-$50s, gaining $5-$6 on the session. To the south in the Mid-Atlantic, peak power at the PJM Western hub was quoted in the mid-$40s, down about $8.
Day-ahead markets for Tuesday in the East came in at $59.71 at NEPOOL-Mass, $59.31 at New York's Zone A, $62.88 at Zone G and $69.73 at Zone J.
Cash gas markets around the Northeast were stronger Monday, which worked to support regional power prices. Spot gas at Transco-Zone 6 saw an index near $3.10/MMBtu, rising almost 40 cents on the session. Product at the Algonquin Citygate market was priced 40 cents higher as well at an average close to $3.30/MMBtu.
In the Northeast, demand in New England could hit a high of 22,500 MW on Tuesday, down 900 MW from Monday, while load in New York is expected to crest at 27,800 MW on Tuesday, easing 1,200 MW from the session prior.
PJM Western region demand is seen reaching a high at 75,480 MW on Tuesday, increasing 1,450 MW from Monday, while PJM Mid-Atlantic load is called to top out near 53,700 MW on Tuesday, rising 2,000 MW from Monday.
California prices advance; Northwest values turn negative in some cases
Strength in regional spot market activity and an expected upswing in regional load worked to lift some power prices across the West.
According to the California ISO, demand in California is expected to crest at 30,150 MW on Tuesday, rising about 1,650 MW from Monday.
At the California power markets, on-peak parcels at South Path-15 were reported in the mid-$20s, up about $1 on the session.
However, in the Northwest, where hydropower remains ample, values faltered. Heavy-load deals at Mid-Columbia were marked in a range from slightly below $0 to the low single digits, down more than $3 on the day. Elsewhere, heavy-load packages at COB were reported in the single digits above $5, dropping about $8 from the session prior.
In the Southwest, heavy-load power parcels at Palo Verde and Mead were eyed in the low $20s, decreasing about $1 to $2 on the day.
Gas prices at PG&E CityGate were up almost 10 cents on the day to an average near $3.15/MMBtu, while spot product at SoCal Border rose 10 cents to an index around $2.65/MMBtu.
Midwest power prices slump in thin trading
Midwest day-ahead power markets dropped lower in overall thin trading Monday. On-peak power at the Indiana hub was priced in the upper $40s, losing about $8 to $9 on the day.
Prices in the Midwest retreated Monday even in the face of rising demand expectations. Load in the PJM AEP region should hit 21,550 MW on Tuesday, up 400 MW from Monday, while demand in the PJM ComEd region may peak at 21,050 MW on Tuesday, increasing 500 MW from Monday.
Texas power values open week slightly higher
Power prices in Texas were generally higher Monday, with an expected uptick in demand and stronger spot gas prices around the region working to lift values.
DAM prices in Texas for Tuesday came in at $24.27 at ERCOT West, at $25.79 at ERCOT North, $31.78 at ERCOT South and $36.97 at ERCOT Houston, up $1 to $3 on average from Friday.
Off-peak power for Tuesday delivery at the ERCOT North market was marked in the high teens to low $20s.
Texas demand is poised to the upside, with load expected to reach 60,750 MW on Tuesday, up 550 MW from Monday.
Spot gas at the benchmark at the Henry Hub market in Louisiana was pegged at an index atop $3.05/MMBtu, increasing 10 cents.
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, natural gas index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities pages.