Forecasts of highs in the 100-degree area across much of the southern third of the U.S. were unimpressive to the cash market Wednesday. Instead, prices observed the 6.2-cent decline by September futures a day earlier and the fading of Tropical Storm Colin in falling by mostly small amounts.

Near-flat numbers were common, but a slight majority of locations was down 2-3 cents to about a dime. The rest were flat to about a nickel higher.

Once again the Florida citygate's spike of a little more than $2.40 to about $13.60 was extremely outside the overall market trend. A month-long string of Overage Alert Days by Florida Gas Transmission was ending.

Despite flat pricing, IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) said flows traded on its online system for Columbia Gas Transmission increased from 1,022,100 MMBtu Wednesday to 1,188,300 MMBtu Thursday. And ICE volumes declined from 469,600 MMBtu to 367,500 MMBtu with an accompanying price drop of nearly 4 cents at Transco Zone 6-New York.

Prices continued to fall on either side of 15 cents at Malin and the PG&E citygate, ICE said, as PG&E extended a high-inventory OFO into its second day Thursday (see Transportation Notes).

The Bentek Energy U.S. Natural Gas Hub Flows report for Wednesday showed an increase of 89,000 Dth/d, or 67%, from Tuesday at Niagara to 222,000 Dth/d Wednesday. Otherwise, changes were limited to climbs of 14% (50,000 Dth/d to 411,000 Dth/d at Tennessee Zone 0) and declines of 16% (MichCon citygates down 107,000 Dth/d to 553,000 Dth/d), Bentek said.

Very hot temperatures in the southern U.S. were abetted somewhat by highs still reaching the low 90s in such locations as Philadelphia and New York City but were somewhat offset by forecasts reaching no more than the mid 80s in many other areas.

Tuesday's downturn of 6.2 cents by September futures had a mildly negative effect on the cash market. It was questionable whether the Wednesday rebound of 9.8 cents by the prompt-month contract (see related story) would be able to lift cash numbers Thursday.

A Midwest marketer noted that temperatures around the 100-degree area in his city was "pretty crazy for early August." Even higher peaks expected for Thursday led him to believe that the heat and screen gain would push cash quotes higher Thursday.

His company was "kind of wondering" about the tight October-January futures spread, the marketer said. He also noted that negative Midcontinent basis of 40 cents or less relative to Henry Hub was "unusually close."

Kern River reported much less than half of its capacity being used at the Southern California border, with scheduled Evening Cycle nominations for Wednesday of 267,404 Dth/d Wheeler Ridge and 304,510 Dth/d at Kramer Junction falling short of available volumes by 617,596 Dth/d and 245,490 Dth/d, respectively.

What the National Hurricane Center (NHC) was calling the "remnants" of former Tropical Storm Colin were still about 150 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Islands Wednesday morning but were becoming better organized again. Cloudiness, showers and thunderstorms were associated with a tropical wave over the central and southwestern Caribbean Sea, NHC said, and slow development of the system was possible as it moved generally westward at 15-20 mph.

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