Cash prices were coming down by as much as a dime or more insome cases Thursday, as was widely expected, and many sourcespredict more of the same for the holiday weekend. A moderatingweather trend in hot areas and coolness in the West, Midwest andNortheast certainly aren’t conducive to any market rally attempts,one trader said. And then there was the futures screen’sleadership, or lack thereof, a marketer said. Northeast market-areaprices were down 3-4 cents at first, then dropped another 3 centsafter seeing the screen’s example, he said. He was getting lateTransco Zone 6 (non-NYC) offers at $2.34 after having bought at$2.36-37.

A trader who saw nearly identical Katy and Waha numbers in themid to high $2.00s said prices “were pretty pitiful today but therewas a little uptick late.” He doesn’t expect the weak rebound tocarry over into today’s activity, though, thinking it was more acase of “people dogging the heck out of the market throughout themorning then having to belly up near noms.”

Although as of Thursday afternoon PG&E had not issued aweekend OFO as it had cautioned it might (see Daily GPI, May 21),Southwest and California border numbers took a beating as a sourcehad predicted. Temperatures remain cool in the Golden State, andeast-of-California weather isn’t much warmer. San Juan Basin quotestumbled another dime into the low $1.80s, and although a marketerreported a Permian sale essentially flat in the low $2.00s, it alsomade another at $1.90. Malin saw only a small decrease, butSouthern California border quotes plunged more than a dime into thelow $2.10s. PG&E core buyers were not in the market, a tradersaid.

Intra-Alberta was Thursday’s rare rising market, starting out3-4 cents up in the high C$1.50s and eventually inching up into thelow $1.60s.

Because of Memorial Day breaking into the routine just asbidweek is getting started, sources were close to unanimous inexpecting little if any June trading to get done before Tuesday.”Too many people are uncertain because of the holiday weekend andwould rather wait,” a producer said.

A marketer reported Appalachian basis rising as the screen wentdown Thursday. He said TCO had moved up from plus 13.5 to plus14.25 in his most recent offer, and CNG was up from plus 15 to plus16.5. He said he tried to make a fixed-price TCO purchase at $2.20Thursday (14 over the screen at that point) but was refused.Laughing, the marketer added, “But boy, if Access opens up at $2.03I know that guy will be calling immediately” begging to do the$2.20 deal.

June basis reports included NorAm-east at minus 7.5-8 andColumbia Gulf-mainline at plus 2-2.5. A marketer was hearing$1.73-74 fixed-price talk for the Rockies in general Thursday afterhaving received a $1.85 bid Wednesday.

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