The April Nymex contract slipped 1.3 cents to $2.228 onWednesday, as the near month contract continues to be hounded bytight trading ranges. April could move no higher than $2.245 and nolower than $2.210 yesterday.

A producer said the reason is cash prices have been slow tochange as well. “Now that the cash and futures markets havebasically converged, you can look for futures to take directionfrom cash. This is especially true since April is a shouldermonth,” he said. He conceded, however, that enough speculators haveopen long positions in April to make “technicals worth keeping asharp eye on.”

Not even a storage report of 47 Bcf worth of withdrawals couldmove April out its range. This report was 29 Bcf of withdrawalslower than what it was for the same period last year. But storagereally isn’t much of a concern, an analyst told GPI. “The wholesurplus could have been withdrawn last week without having asignificant impact on prices. Storage is just a temporary supplyphenomenon. The real supply phenomenon is the gas that didn’t comeout of the ground last year. Production is off, and that’s keepingprices higher,” he said. As of 5:45 p.m. EST, April was down 0.3cents to $2.225. If April continues to inch lower today, look forsupport to kick in at $2.18-19, a technician said.

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