Energy Markets Report

Energy Markets Report

A weekly statistical report on electricity, gas and oil markets, nuclear availability and future build.


March 24-28, 2014

 

Summary of Market Developments

  • Electricity peak prices continued a modest springtime decline last week, except in the PJM region where prices rose $15 to average $66/MWh. “Next-day power prices were generally aimed to the downside Thursday, March 27, as traders eyed moderating weather, easing load ahead of the weekend and cheaper spot natural gas markets.” (SNL’s Power Daily – March 27, 2014)
  • Natural gas spot prices at the Henry Hub fell three cents last week to average $4.38/MMBtu and the rig count fell eight to 318 rigs. “Average natural gas consumption increased for the second week in a row, by 1.9%, to 81.4 Bcf/d. Increases occurred in all sectors except industrial. Despite seasonal, spring-like temperatures last Friday, which lowered total natural gas consumption to 71.6 Bcf on that day, the return of cooler temperatures over the weekend led to increased total U.S. consumption, which reached 87.6 Bcf yesterday. Overall, residential and commercial consumption rose 1.4% this week. Consumption of natural gas for power generation increased by 5.5% over last week, rising in every region except Texas. Net natural gas exports to Mexico increased by 6.8%, while average industrial consumption decreased by 0.3%.” (EIA’s Natural Gas Weekly Update – March 27, 2014)
  • Average U.S. nuclear plant availability climbed one percent last week, to 82 percent. Byron 1 and Fermi returned to service after refueling and maintenance outages. Clinton, Susquehanna 2, and Diablo Canyon 1 returned to service after brief maintenance outages. Nine Mile Point 2, Watts Bar 1, and Comanche Peak 2 shut down for refueling and maintenance outages. (Platts and company reports)
  • Uranium spot prices fell another 60-70 cents per pound last week, to average $34.00/lb U3O8, according to TradeTech and Ux Consulting. “Thin supply, combined with an increasingly bearish outlook from suppliers, continues to exert downward pressure on the spot uranium price. Although the unexpected news that subsoil leases held by Uranium One were declared invalid by a Kazakh court did introduce additional uncertainty on the supply side, the development did little to counter the price slide. Additional uranium supply emerged this week with Duke Energy announcing it would seek bids on 76 bundles of fabricated fuel containing approximately 850,000 pounds U3O8 equivalent originally destined for the closed Crystal River reactor in Florida.” (TradeTech’s Nuclear Market  Review – March 28, 2014)