Hot weather in the producing states of Louisiana and Texas,along with the futures screen’s rising example, set the tone forcash price hikes of 2-3 cents to almost a dime Monday. One tradersaid supplies seemed a bit tight in the Gulf Coast and Midcontinentfor some reason, allowing that it might have been southern coolingdemand soaking up available gas.

The sore-thumb standout in Tuesday’s market was intra-Albertapricing, which took a big dive into the C$1.50s and lower afterstarting out only mildly softer in the mid to high C$1.70s.Capacity restrictions on Alberta Natural Gas and NOVA and at theEmpress export point were backing supplies up into the province,sources said. In addition, field receipts came out very strongfollowing the weekend, a marketer said. He saw an electronictrading system hit a low of C$1.32 late in the afternoon and saidhe wouldn’t be surprised to see dollar gas in Alberta later thisweek.

The heat appeared to be spreading slowly from the South, as amarketer reported higher than usual intra-day volumes being soughtby electric utilities in the Mid-Atlantic states. And the Midwest,though still on the cool side Monday, should warm up enough laterthis week to see a little air conditioning load of its own, amarketer said.

One source wasn’t surprised to hear a range of about a dime fromthe low $1.70s into the low $1.80s at Malin. The California bordermarket was very thinly traded with many western participants at theNew Mexico trade fair, he said.

A Midwest trader doesn’t see much more short-term upside forcash numbers, but he does expect them to keep bouncing around for awhile in the same general area as they are in now. “If you boughtJune futures now and the price started to fall, I’d still hold onto the contract” because he looks for June prices to be higher bythe time bidweek rolls around.

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