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Northeast Continues Down, Remainder Holds Fast

Northeast Continues Down, Remainder Holds Fast

Cash market prices remained predominantly flat during Tuesday's trading session, mimicking a stagnant Nymex futures screen and held fast by decreasing demand nationwide. Aside from major Northeastern markets, which almost doubled Monday's declines, cash continued flat to a penny lower at most trading points.

Cash prices at Transco Zone 6 and Tetco M3 lost about a dime from the day prior. "Moderating temperatures took a quick and fast toll on cash prices out here," said a Northeast marketer. "We have gone from snowstorm conditions over the weekend to 50-degree weather in one day," he added.

A Midcontinent trader, who reported area prices flat in the low-to-mid-$1.60s, said there was very little support for cash in either direction during the day. "The market floundered, waiting for Nymex to give some sort of a signal, but that didn't happen," the trader said. In addition, there certainly isn't much demand out there, he added. "We [had] 73-degree weather in Tulsa [Tuesday]. I also talked with one of my utility customers in Minnesota and he reported 55 degrees over there." He said his customer had reduced his loads by 30% since Sunday, and does not anticipate increasing them for the rest of the month.

Absent the board doing something crazy, according to one source, cash is going to stay at current levels, if not go down. "However, If the board decides to go rocketing up, which is unlikely, who knows where cash goes," he said. "In any case, I don't know that [cash] is going to get much cheaper."

While Western and California border markets held Tuesday, one marketer said he held back on buying gas in anticipation of lower prices today. "There's a lot of gas out West, and there isn't much demand at the border, which brought our loads down," he explained. "While we saw prices flat out here [Tuesday], which was largely due to balancing requirements, I think we'll start noticing softness [today] and going into the weekend."

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