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Weekend Softness Mild Due to Heat Expectations

Weekend Softness Mild Due to Heat Expectations

Cash prices proved remarkably resistant Friday to the softness that usually accompanies lowered demand for a weekend period. The Gulf Coast and Northeast citygates were essentially flat, while most of the small declines were concentrated in the West and Midcontinent. Sources attributed the relatively firm pricing to modest support from a slightly higher futures screen, along with trader anticipation of a return to hotter weather more characteristic of June than last week's below-normal thermometer readings throughout much of the East.

The anticipation mentioned above was already showing up in some deals done Friday. A marketer whose weekend El Paso-Permian quotes averaged $2.13 said he also traded three Monday-only packages for nearly a dime higher with people who were expecting even higher western temperatures early this week.

A large aggregator said it seemed like there were five sellers for every one buyer Friday, even though his Appalachian and Northeast citygate quotes were flat to down only a penny. "You hate to see such a lopsided ratio, but that's how it was," he added. There was hardly any demand in Transco Zone 6 (non-New York City), he said; "it's just too cool up there."

When swing gas retreats to near first-of-month index levels as it is at many eastern points, the aggregator continued, it creates a big incentive for increasing storage injections. He didn't think he would have had much weekend market at all in the Northeast if not for storage buyers.

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