In Tuesday's trading for flows on the first day of November, prices were down by double-digit amounts at all points. Seasonal temperatures in many areas and a prior-day screen drop of 41.1 cents were primarily responsible for the bearish cash market.
One source also suggested that early storage withdrawals may be supplanting some purchases of fresh production. That thought was supported by analyst Ron Denhardt of Strategic Energy & Economic Research, who sees an early start to withdrawal season. He expects the Energy Information Administration to report a pull of 9 Bcf for the week ending Oct. 27.
Cash declines ranged from a dime to around 70 cents. Rockies/Pacific Northwest points tended to see the largest drops, while many of the smallest ones occurred in the Midcontinent.
Weather will remain moderate in much of the East but rather chilly in the West through most of Wednesday. But by Thursday cold fronts will be pulling temperatures considerably lower in the Northeast, Midwest and South, according to The Weather Channel.
In fact, the Weather 2000 consulting firm said in a Tuesday advisory the upcoming weekend could feature the first freezing temperatures of the season that reach as far south as the Gulf Coast states.
A marketer found it hard to say whether the December futures rally of 11.8 cents Tuesday would lift cash quotes Wednesday, but said he wouldn't be surprised to see some small gains. He noted that a Chicago swing swap package for the balance of month was being bid at $6.93 and asked at $7.08. Those numbers were above Tuesday's citygate prices in the mid to high $6.80s, so it indicates possible mild strength in the cash market, he said. Also, the colder weather trends later this week will lend some support, he said.
The marketer considers the overall near-term weather outlook as pretty bearish. However, he commented that Calgary temperatures will see lows and highs in teens and 20s until early next week, and that means Midwest buyers may have to pay up if Alberta keeps more gas than usual at home.
An industrial end-user said his company had termed up a lot of gas for the winter and thus didn't need much November baseload, which he thought was good because of the big price increases.
The National Weather Service's (NWS) outlook for the Nov. 6-10 workweek appears to be decidedly bearish for gas markets. The federal agency predicted above normal temperatures for almost the entire U.S. and didn't expect any below normal readings. The greatest variations above normal will occur in the western Midwest and Upper Plains states, NWS said. The only areas where it expects merely normal temperatures are in South and Southeast Texas along with the southwestern corner of Louisiana, and in the states of Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California along with the western edge of New Mexico.
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