Prices for the last day of February were mostly softer Friday,but quotes for the Southwest basins, Rockies and intra-Albertareflected flatness. And Canadian exports into Northwest at Sumas,which had been languishing in the low to mid $1.10s at the start ofthe week, climbed to the $1.30 area. The big exception to Westernfirmness was a fall of about a dime at the Southern Californiaborder in wide-ranging numbers.

Otherwise, except for flat to slightly higher Northeastcitygates, prices tended to fall 2-6 cents.

Many traders were glad to close out bidweek and look to theaftermarket. In deals done Friday for March 1 and 2, Easternmarkets tended to be mostly flat from March indexes with individualpoints registering a bit higher or lower. Again, the West wasshowing more strength than the East as most Western points werebeing reported near the top of their bidweek ranges.

A Midcontinent marketer commented, “This market still seems tobe stuck in a range. We have chosen the safe route by going intothe month flat. Cash has been following the screen for most ofFebruary, and the last thing we want to do is to take a cashposition and expose ourselves to a detrimental Nymex-driven move.Only if you put a gun to my head and made me choose would I saythat this thing is headed down.”

For a change the weather should provide a bit of fundamentalprice support in the aftermarket. The National Weather Service’soutlook for March 5-9 called for below-normal temperatures innearly all of the U.S. Only the East Coast and the West Coast northof the Los Angeles area will see normal conditions, NWS said. Andit projected much-below-normal temperatures in New Mexico, thenorthwest half of Texas and much of the Midcontinent.

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