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Heat Pushes Most Prices Up, But Firmness in Doubt
Only a couple of Western Canadian points where temperatures were staying fairly mild got left out of heat-driven gains at all other locations Monday. The previous Friday’s advance of 9.6 cents by September futures gave an added boost to the cash market.
Nearly all of the spot market rose between a little less than a nickel and nearly a quarter. Declines of a couple of cents in Western Canada were exceptions to the overall price strength.
The Florida citygate again was somewhat a market oddity in spiking by more than a dollar as an Overage Alert Day by Florida Gas Transmission neared a month of existence.
Although highs of 100 degrees or more were forecast for some locations in the South Tuesday, it was doubtful whether cash prices could continue to rise in the face of a 22.2-cent futures retreat Monday (see related story). The appearance of Tropical Depression Four in the mid-Atlantic did not seem to have a significant effect on the market.
Outside the South and desert Southwest, peak temperatures in the 70s and 80s were dominant.
A Southern utility buyer noted that although a high of slightly more than 100 was predicted for his area Tuesday, the company was still not approaching peak electricity usage. He blames that primarily on the weak national economy.
The buyer said an ongoing 10% cut in Panhandle Eastern nominations that started in June looked like they would last through most of August However, the company expected to be close to finishing storage injections by the end of August, he said, and will be doing “touch-ups” during September and October.
A Gulf Coast trader said she had no idea what brought futures lower after an initially stronger start, but expects cash to also go down Tuesday as a result. One other reason to anticipate lower cash numbers, she said, is that physical prices were tending to fall in late trading Monday.
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