Bulls have had very little if anything positive to talk aboutlately with respect to gas prices at the New York MercantileExchange. Mild June temps, a healthy storage level, and amplesupply have weighed on the market since the current downtrend beganon April 9th. So it comes as no surprise that upon the release ofthe less-than-expected 86 Bcf AGA storage injection, bulls sawtheir first opportunity in a while to push the market higher. Thefirst thrust was registered in Wednesday night’s ACCESS session.Then, after opening higher yesterday, the contract traded in a neat5-cent trading range settling at $1.970, up 4 cents for the day.

So now the big question becomes whether this is just anotherblip in an otherwise continuing downtrend or have prices bottomedout for the summer? A Tulsa marketer did not rule out thepossibility of a few more dips lower but pointed to “healthyunderlying cash pricesin the face of minimal cooling load” as aharbinger of things to come. “Once again you have to ask yourself.At what level are you a buyer? I will be out buying Midcontinentgas [Friday] if the price dips into the $1.80s. July basis in theMidcontinent is minus 9-11 cents. Back that dime off the Julycontract and you have July gas worth less than June gas. Somethinghas to give and my guess is it will be futures moving higher.

However, many feel any attempts at higher prices will have to bespurred by warmer weather that is not yet on the horizon. TheNational Weather Service 6-10 day forecast for June 16th -20thcalls for continued below-normal temperatures for most of thecountry extending from southern California to the Northeast.Southeast sections of the country and northern Texas are normalwith the only above normal readings coming from Florida andsouthern Texas.

©Copyright 1998 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. Thepreceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, inwhole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent ofIntelligence Press,Inc.