Nearly all of the cash market again saw substantive upticks Tuesday, drawing support from a 22.5-cent spike by July futures a day earlier and a fairly large amount of cooling demand from hot weather across most of the southern half of the U.S. Although chances of storm development were being discounted, some traders may have considered a low-pressure area in the Atlantic Ocean as an additional bullish factor.
Gains ranged from a little less than a nickel to slightly more than $1.20, although only one location topped about 20 cents. Most of the smallest increases occurred in the West, where the few flat to nearly 15 cents lower points were the exceptions to overall firmness. The PG&E citygate dropped a couple of pennies after PG&E issued a high-inventory OFO for Wednesday (see Transportation Notes).
The Florida citygate saw the day’s biggest gain by far as the continuation of Sunshine State highs in the 90s prompted Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) to not only keep an Overage Alert Day in place Tuesday but also maintain the relatively stringent (for FGT) tolerance of 10% for negative daily imbalances that the pipeline had implemented Monday.
Chances are good of cash gains continuing Wednesday, although Canada and key northern market areas will stay on the cool to moderate side for a while longer. Prompt-month gas futures tacked on another 18.3 cents to their value Tuesday (see related story).
A low-pressure area about 1,000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles island chain between Puerto Rico and Venezuela was encountering environmental conditions that were becoming less favorable for tropical storm development, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday afternoon. The agency accorded the system only a 20% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the succeeding 48 hours as it moved to the west-northwest at 10-15 mph.
The Weather 2000 consulting firm said “Cape Verde activity” (referring to the group of islands off West Africa near which many Atlantic storms originate) was commencing early in the season, but added that most of the early tropical waves never become named storms. There is “always extra attention/hype placed on the [first] potential storm of the season, but haste often neglects [wind] shear and other obstacles,” Weather 2000 said.
The National Weather Service’s (NWS) six- to 10-day forecast posted Tuesday afternoon for the June 21-25 workweek calls for above-normal temperatures almost everywhere south and east of a line running westward from the lower Northeast and encompassing virtually of the Midwest through northern Minnesota and central North Dakota before veering to the south through central Wyoming, western Colorado and the extreme eastern edge of Arizona. An exception will be normal readings in the southern half of the Florida peninsula, NWS said. It expects below-normal conditions in California (except for a strip along most of the state’s eastern border) extending into the southern half of Oregon and the southwestern and northwestern corners of Idaho and Nevada, respectively.
Credit Suisse analysts Teri Viswanath and Hugh Li said they expect a storage injection of 93 Bcf to be reported for the week ending June 11. “Even with our slightly higher-than-expected…forecast, total working gas in storage is now below last year’s level, they added. “Nearly half of the year-to-date losses in natural gas have been pared back. Further, prices might continue to stay supported in the very near term given the prospect of a widening [year-on-year] storage deficit.”
Strategic Energy & Economic Research’s Ron Denhardt projects a moderately lower build of 90 Bcf, while Kyle Cooper of IAF Advisors looks for a still smaller volume of 87 Bcf.
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