Several flat to about a nickel higher points in various regions managed to escape the overall moderate softness that enveloped the market Tuesday. The previous day’s half-penny advance by May futures did nothing to influence cash numbers, so the physical market finally had to acknowledge that advances in the past few days were made with essentially no support from weather fundamentals.

Nearly all of Tuesday’s advances were in single digits in ranging from 2-3 cents to about a dime; the Florida citygate was a definite outlier in falling about a quarter.

While Monday’s screen guidance was basically neutral for cash traders, they will have negative guidance for Wednesday’s deals after May futures dropped 4.6 cents in their penultimate day of Nymex activity (see related story).

Northeast quotes were flat to about a nickel lower despite a late-season storm being expected to leave as much as a foot of snow Tuesday in elevated locations of northern New York and New England.

Otherwise a warming trend was under way in the Midcontinent/Midwest, and lower Northeast conditions would remain just chilly at worst. Most of the South was still failing to reach thermometer levels that would signal significant cooling load, and the desert Southwest was due to cool off again. Outside of occasional freezing-area lows in parts of the Rockies, most of the West would stay cool to mild.

A Northeast utility buyer said it appeared that his company has recently been getting “more market-area” (Marcellus Shale, that is) gas than usual, rather than its former supplies arriving from the Gulf Coast or Midcontinent. Currently area weather is cool but not all that cold, he said, and temperatures should be warming into the 70s by the weekend.

The buyer said he was making May baseload purchases at index flat into Tennessee’s 800 Line and at index plus 0.5 cent into Transco Station 65.

An Upper Midwest marketer said her company was still making small heating load purchases of spot gas for clients, but that likely would end soon because of 70s temperatures due by the weekend. She reported buying May baseload at basis of plus 16 cents into Consumers Energy and plus 19 cents into MichCon. She didn’t know why MichCon is now seeing the premium pricing that until last year had previously belonged to Consumers.

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