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AM Power Report: Dailies could climb with load, gas at midweek

Next-day power prices could be bolstered Wednesday, June 7, by the combined support of mostly rising demand forecasts for the latter part of the workweek and ongoing gains at the natural gas futures arena.

Rising 6.0 cents in the prior session on technical buying, NYMEX July natural gas futures were extending those gains early Wednesday ahead of the opening bell. At about 6:25 a.m. ET, the front-month contract was up another 4.3 cents to $3.085/MMBtu.

In many cases, spot natural gas prices at the major U.S. consuming hubs are likely to draw support from the recent futures' advance but could face some downside pressure amid moderate weather in some regions of the country.

In terms of demand, outlooks suggest varied but predominantly stronger load in the latter part of the workweek.

In the Northeast, load in New England is forecast to peak at 14,020 MW on Wednesday and 14,470 MW on Thursday, while demand in New York is expected to hit highs at 17,575 MW on Wednesday and 18,085 MW in the latter part of the business week. To the south, PJM Western region load is seen reaching highs at 47,684 MW on Wednesday and 48,979 MW on Thursday, while PJM Mid-Atlantic demand is poised to defy the broad uptrend as it is called to reach 30,602 MW on Wednesday and 30,425 MW on Thursday.

In the Midwest, load in PJM AEP region is projected to see highs at 14,561 MW on Wednesday and 14,806 MW on Thursday, while load in PJM ComEd is forecast to crest at 12,393 MW on Wednesday and 12,917 MW in the latter part of the workweek.

In the South, load in Texas is projected to top out at 58,304 MW on Wednesday and 55,593 MW on Thursday, also running against the wider uptick. In the West, California demand should near 31,630 MW on Wednesday and 31,025 MW on Thursday.

In forward activity, the power offering for July delivery added value in much of the country June 6, as rebounding front-month natural gas futures signaled an uptick in fueling costs.

In the East, month-ahead power parcels were quoted on either side of $43 in deals stronger by more than $2 day on the day in New England and up 50 cents at PJM West. Products for August delivery were similarly transacted in the low $40s at both hubs.

In the Midwest, PJM AD July deflated by almost 60 cents to an average close to $42, as PJM Northern Illinois July climbed by roughly 40 cents to an index atop $40, and MISO Indiana July power deals jumped by more than $3 to an average above $44. Along the forward curve, power prices for August across the three hubs were spread in the high $30s to the low $40s.

In the South, gains of between $1 and $2 at the ERCOT markets took price action for July power to indexes ranging roughly from $41 to $50. Regional pricing for August power spanned the low to high $60s.

In the West, California saw front-month power trades lifted by roughly $1 to an index at near $35 at North Path-15 and bolstered by 70 cents to an average close to $36 at South Path-15, as similar deals ascended by about 90 cents to an index at around $26 at Mid-Columbia and rose by almost 80 cents to an average at approximately $39 at Palo Verde. Power transactions for August were spotted in the low $30s at Mid-Columbia and in the high $30s elsewhere in the region.

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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.