Cooler weekend weather model trends, dialing back expectations for early June heat, saw natural gas futures slide in early trading Monday. The June Nymex contract was down 10.9 cents to $7.974/MMBtu at around 8:45 a.m. ET. July was off 11.4 cents to $8.064.

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The early June temperature outlook trended cooler over the weekend in the major weather models, resulting in a drop in projected gas-weighted degree days, Bespoke Weather Services told clients early Monday.

“We had expected to see stronger heat show up in that time frame, and still feel the pattern is poised to move hotter, but there are definitely delays in its arrival,” Bespoke said. “…In short, while we do expect the La Niña base state to send the pattern back hotter down the road, the next couple of weeks look best characterized as variable in all key regions of the nation.”

Meanwhile, EBW Analytics Group highlighted a notable increase in dry gas production levels over the weekend, with output rising to 1.6-1.9 Bcf/d above the lows observed last week.

“The market has proven sensitive to supply fluctuations throughout the spring, pointing to the potential for further weakness,” EBW senior analyst Eli Rubin said.

On the demand side, recent liquefied natural gas feed gas estimates showed volumes hitting an eight-week high near 13.4 Bcf/d, with potential gains later this week, according to the analyst.

Bespoke said it was maintaining a “slightly bullish lean” in light of strong fundamentals data. The firm said its expectations for this week’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) storage report are for a print that would imply “wildly tight supply/demand balances.”

“In fact, we currently show the next four numbers coming in under the five-year average build, something that is not sustainable without ultimately driving prices higher until we can price out some demand,” Bespoke added.

From a technical standpoint, bulls need to push prices beyond the $9.052 level to keep the upward momentum going, according to ICAP Technical Analysis.

“Bulls were able to get the July contract through the ratio retracements associated with the $9.052 high,” ICAP analyst Brian LaRose said. “Problem is, they still need to punch through the $9.052 high. If, and only if, the bulls can clear this obstacle will we have permission to set our sights higher. Gunning for $10.299 next if they succeed. And if the bulls can not get the job done? They risk allowing the bears to have a go at the May lows.”

EBW’s Rubin said technicals were continuing to “soften” as of early Monday.

“If the front month dips below key support near $7.90, the door may be opened to further declines,” Rubin said.