Next-daypower values across the U.S. ticked mostly higher Friday, April 8, owing to supportfrom mixed but predominantly stronger April 11 load outlooks along with limitedsupport from varied spot natural gas prices.
After holdingfirm overnight, the front-month May natural gas futures contract returnedto the negative side of the ledger and exited the workweek at $1.990/MMBtu, down2.8 cents. Spot natural gas markets ran in different directions, with only tradesat Algonquin Citygates noting a sizable increase due to a blast of cold weatherbut with the low-load, partly weekend offering weighing down prices in most locations.
In other supply, total U.S. nuclear plant availability moved lower early April 8 to 87.24%,down from 87.72% on April 7 but still above the 84.24% level noted on the same daya year ago. Six fresh outages are expected in the nextweek as the spring refueling and maintenance season reaches its peak.
In near-term weather, a forecast from AccuWeather.com projectsa "new cold plunge will be accompanied by accumulating snow across portionsof the Midwestern and Northeastern states into this weekend."
East dailiesclose workweek boosted by demand
Next-day power packages in the East added more value Friday,as dailies derived support from outlooks calling for stronger April 11 demand butwith gains pared back by mostly softer spot natural gas prices.
Next-day deals at NEPOOL-Mass continued to gain ground,with power exchanged in the high $30s and low $40s, up from a prior-day index of$33.25, while transactions at PJM West defied lower load outlooks and added around$2 in the mid-$30s.
Despite typically weaker weekend demand, day-ahead marketsin the Northeast were mixed as the colder weather offered counter-support. DAMsin New York were firm, with New York Zone A adding about a dollar to rise to anaverage of $37.89, while deals at New York Zone G and New York Zone J saw littlechange from the previous day and averaged $28.13 and $28.53, respectively. DAM dealsat NEPOOL-Mass, on the flipside, lost more than $4 and averaged $29.24.
Spot gas markets were mixed but leaned lower, with gastrades at TETCO-M3 shedding more than 10 cents from Thursday to average below $1.60/MMBtuwhile transactions at Transco Zone 6 New York slipped by about 2 cents to averagenear $1.70/MMBtu. Deals at Algonquin Citygates ran the other way and added closeto 50 cents to rise to an average around $4.20/MMBtu.
Load in the Northeast is set to rise at the start of thenew workweek, as peak demand in New England may reach 15,490 MW on April 11, upmore than 900 MW from Friday, while load in New York could top out at 18,826 MWon April 11, adding more than 200 MW from Friday.
PJM regions in the Mid-Atlantic expect varied demand, withthe PJM Mid-Atlantic region forecasting an April 11 high at 32,196 MW, up roughly800 MW from Friday, while the PJM Western region projects peak load to hit 48,335MW on April 11, falling more than 2,500 MW from Friday.
ERCOTdailies edge higher with rebounding demand
Next-day power products in Texas were traded at a modestpremium Friday with the upside mostly driven by robust April 11 load forecasts andlimited support from varied spot natural gas prices.
ERCOT anticipates April 11 demand to crest at 45,403 MW,amassing around 8,100 MW from Friday. Encouraged by load, next-day deals at ERCOTNorth were quoted in the mid-$20s for a daily premium of around $5.
Reflecting typically lower weekend demand, most day-aheadmarkets floundered, with DAM deals at ERCOT Houston, ERCOT North and ERCOT Southshedding $2 to $3 from Thursday to post averages of $16.10, $16.37 and $15.59, respectively,while DAM trades at ERCOT West lost about $5 from the day prior and averaged $13.30.
Spot gas markets were slightly varied, with gas deals atthe Henry Hub gaining almost 5 cents on the session to average above $1.95/MMBtu,while trades at El Paso Permian eased from Thursday and retained an average below$1.75/MMBtu.
West dailiessteady with load outlooks and muted gas prices
Power markets in the West leaned flat to predominantlyhigher Friday, as traders latched on to projections of rebounding demand due tonext-day schedule revisions but with the upside restricted by mostly muted spotnatural gas prices.
Next-day deals in the West were done for the combined deliverydays of April 10-11, with the inclusion of the typically higher load weekday inthe product offering a boost to values.
In the Northwest, power products at Mid-Columbia addedaround a dollar from Thursday with deals done in the low to mid-teens while tradesat COB were flat to the prior day and were heard in the high teens. In California,power at South Path-15 was transacted in the high teens and low $20s for a dailygain of less than a dollar. Palo Verde in the Southwest saw little change from Thursdayin the high teens, while trades at Mead posted a premium of about a dollar in thelow $20s.
Spot gas markets saw mostly muted moves, with gas transactionsat Malin steady to Thursday at an average above $1.75/MMBtu, while deals at PG&ECitygates and SoCal Border were flat to Thursday and maintained averages above $1.90/MMBtuand around $1.80/MMBtu, respectively.
CAISO projects peak Saturday demand to run up to 25,334MW, down more than 2,000 MW from Friday. However, load should recover on April 11as business-related demand tends to rise after the weekend.
Midwestmarkets mixed with softer load and firm gas prices
Power trading activity in the Midwest moved in differentdirections Friday, owing to conflicting cues from softer April 11 demand projectionsand flat to higher spot natural gas prices.
PJM AEP-Dayton hub saw power packages pegged in the low$30s, losing less than a dollar from the day prior, while deals at MISO Indianaadded about a dollar in the low to mid-$30s.
PJM load outlooks in the Midwest are aimed lower, withdemand in the PJM AEP region potentially touching 15,332 MW on April 11, down about1,200 MW from Friday, while load in the PJM ComEd region is called to reach 11,242MW on April 11, tumbling more than 700 MW from Friday.
Spot gas markets leaned flat to higher, with gas tradesat Chicago Citygates up by about 2 cents from Thursday to an average above $1.95/MMBtu,while transactions at NNG Demarc were steady to the day prior and retained an averageclose to $1.95/MMBtu.
Market prices and included industry data are current asof the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailed market data,including power,natural gas andcoal index prices, as well asforwards andfutures, visit our Commodities Pages.