Thursday’s burst of extremely mild firmness in most of the cash market proved to be short-lived as prices fell at nearly all locations Friday. Spring-like weather was spreading to more areas, and the previous day’s decline of 12.4 cents by April futures and the typical weekend drop of industrial load also depressed spot gas numbers.

Flat quotes at the Florida citygate and Empress in Canada were the only exceptions to losses ranging from a little less than a nickel to about a quarter. They were fairly evenly distributed among the various market areas.

The physical market will continue to have negative guidance from futures Monday after the April contract fell 10.9 cents in its penultimate day of trading (see related story).

After a brief cooldown much of the South would be returning to conditions more suitable for early spring over the weekend, and although lows in the 30s would continue to dominate in the Midwest and Northeast Saturday, they also were due to trend toward slightly more moderate weather.

Essentially the Rockies and much of Canada would be the last bastions of temperatures around freezing or lower. Following an early-week snowstorm in the Denver area, the Rockies still wasn’t out of the woods in that regard; a system moving through the West would bring rain and up to a foot of snow in Colorado and into the High Plains Saturday, The Weather Channel said. The non-Rockies West was forecast to range from mild to cool.

The continuing high-linepack OFO by SoCalGas (see Transportation Notes) was taking a toll on volumes traded at the Southern California border on the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) platform. ICE reported 402,800 MMBtu in border business for Friday flows, but it said that was down to 293,000 MMBtu in weekend deals.

PG&E reinstated a high-inventory OFO after ending one two days earlier. Prices dropped about 21 cents at Malin and approximately 16 cents at PG&E citygate and 17 cents at Southern California border.

The National Weather Service (NWS) had a drastically revised six- to 10-day forecast posted Thursday afternoon. In the March 31-April 4 period it predicted above-normal temperatures in nearly all of the Northeast (excluding Maine) extending southward into all but the Gulf Coast sections of the South and westward through the western Dakotas into most of Oklahoma. During that period NWS expects below-normal readings in most of Florida (excluding the Panhandle) and everywhere west of a line from central Montana into most of New Mexico. A couple of days earlier it had called for above-normal temperatures in most of the central half of the U.S. (see Daily GPI, March 25).

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