Cash prices rebounded virtually everywhere Monday except in California as traders returned from the long Good Friday/Easter weekend. Most gains were between about a dime and 15 cents, with the Rockies seeing mostly smaller ones that ranged from flat to up about a nickel, and points in the Northeast and Appalachia registering larger advances of about 20 cents or more.

It was easy to pinpoint the impetus for a rising market, sources said. A double-digit increase in May futures provided some positive influence, they said, but primarily prices went up due to a return of unseasonably winter-like weather to the Midwest. Snow and cold that brought wind chill factors close to zero or even less in parts of the Midwest was due to move into the Northeast today.

Inland sections of New York and New England likely will be experiencing wet snow, according to one forecasting service. Because it serves New England indirectly through its Algonquin downstream affiliate, Texas Eastern price increases surpassed others in the Gulf Coast. Tennessee, which also goes into New England, generally was at the upper end of more typical Gulf Coast increases.

There’s good reason to expect price firmness through much of the rest of the week, said a Northeast trader. Temperatures 10 degrees or more below normal for this time of year are likely to persist in his market region until around the weekend, he said.

A Midwest trader who was watching snow fall outside his office window Monday afternoon said he thought some “unexpected heat” in the South and Southwest also may have contributed to the day’s price strength. However, a Houston-based marketer said such conditions wouldn’t last long in the South, which is due for some abnormal chill of its own by tonight. Some parts of the South may even feel a freeze, which happens only rarely outside a winter season, he said.

California, where generally mild weather was more seasonable than in most other areas and helped dampen cooling and heating load, saw price drops ranging from about a dime at the PG&E citygate to about half a dollar at the border for gas going into the SoCal system.

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