Same Market Song, Second Verse: Flat Again
Except for some western upticks, the cash market bore remarkable
resemblance to a pancake Wednesday. Flatness remained the order of
the day at nearly every trading point. And much as on Tuesday, the
little bit of price movement that did occur in the East was
generally a little lower.
With gas demand currently so weak, a marketer could see nothing
preventing a sizable cash downturn other than "Nymex traders trying
to hold prices up." He confidently expects the market to soften
eventually before heading back up. But for now, "there's not much
fun in trading gas these days," he said.
Hot weather and supply cuts were the chief reason for the
western price strength, a large aggregator said. High temperatures
exceeding 100 degrees in much of the desert Southwest boosted air
conditioning load in the east-of-California market, and there was
"decent" demand from California itself, he said. That sent San Juan
prices higher by a few cents, with Southern California border and
Malin quotes up by similar amounts. Southwest and Rockies upticks
got further support from an estimated 900 MMcf/d of Canadian gas
being taken off the market as NOVA began a pigging operation on its
Western Alberta Extension.
Chicago citygates initially were down a few cents, one source
said, but Northern Indiana Public Service Co. showed up
conspicuously short late in the trading session and prices reacted
by rebounding as high as $2.35.
Basis is beginning to tighten for July, a Midcontinent marketer
said. Sellers are trying to hold out for index-plus deals, he
continued, but for that reason they're not attracting any buyers
yet. However, he believes a forecast for above-normal temperatures
in the Northeast next week could tip the scales in sellers' favor
between now and bidweek.
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