As bidweek approached the home stretch Thursday, traders foundfixed prices mostly a little higher than they had been Wednesdaybut still considerably below where they had been at the start ofthe week Monday. A marketer whose earliest purchases into PanhandleEastern were in the mid $2.00s said the numbers rebounded to$1.93-94 Thursday after having dipped to just under $1.90Wednesday.

A buyer reporting his last Malin package at $2.18 said he gotout of the market after that because prices went up from there; hewas hearing Malin as high as $2.30 late Thursday.

One source was doing nearly all November deals, both baseloadand swing, because “nobody seems to have any idea what will happenin the aftermarket.” A producer glumly noted that the aftermarket”is looking pretty weak at this point.”

A marketer thinks “the big boys” might try the short side of themarket again for November at the Southern California border. Hedidn’t see much in the way of fixed prices there this week, so heexpects “they” will try to pick up more gas in the aftermarket.Because of this, he thinks a strategy of going short SanJuan-Blanco and long at the border will be a winner.

In what some sources considered mostly an attempt to convergewith November pricing, late-October quotes mostly ranged from flatto about 15 cents higher. But the attempt seemed ratherhalf-hearted, the sources said, because a large majority of theupticks were a nickel or less. Incremental activity was predictablylight as traders said they had already closed out their Octoberpositions to leave room for wrapping up bidweek.

Michigan citygates again saw hypervolatile ranges from the$1.70s to the $2.20s. It’s hard to say why the citygates are spreadout so wide, one trader said, but he speculated that the peoplepaying top-drawer prices “must need the gas really, really bad.”

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