Further price increases occurred at virtually all points Tuesday. The previous day’s September futures surge of 37.8 cents was considered chiefly responsible for the cash strength. However, modest warming trends in sections of the South, along with continued above-normal temperatures in the Northeast and scorching readings from Texas-Oklahoma through the desert Southwest, contributed a substantive amount of cooling load to overall gas demand.
This time it was a flat ANR ML7 that failed to qualify for gains ranging from about a nickel to a quarter. A large majority of the increases were in double digits.
Prior-day screen support for the cash market proved fleeting as the September gas contract retreated by 3 cents Tuesday (see related story).
Although far too remote to have near-term relevance at this point, a system of disorganized showers and thunderstorms several hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands may have tossed an additional small bullish factor into Tuesday’s market, if from nothing more than reminding traders that the traditionally most intense part of the Atlantic hurricane season is looming on the horizon.
Although the Northeast will remain warmer than usual Wednesday with most cities seeing highs in the 90 area, a cold front will ensure that the Midwest is quite a bit milder with many locations limited to the low 80s or less.
After staying relatively moderate for midsummer in the last couple of weeks or so, more and more of the South is starting to see highs edge up into the low to mid 90s. That represents only about average conditions, though.
Conditions remain torrid in the desert Southwest and warmer than normal in the Rockies, but otherwise the West has lost a great deal of the heat that dominated the region in the last two weeks. Both interior California and the Pacific Northwest have backed off to peak temperatures in the mid 80s after seeing readings around the century mark as recently as last week. And much of Western Canada has turned downright chilly, with Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver all expected to peak around 70 or slightly higher Wednesday.
Florida Gas Transmission implemented a new Overage Alert Day Tuesday, and the Florida citygate responded with one of the day’s larger upticks.
Westcoast said linepack had returned to its desired area after being on the high side in the last week or two. However, El Paso reported excessive drafting of its Yuma Lateral (see Transportation Notes).
Monday’s futures spike had to be responsible for most of Tuesday’s cash firmness, a Gulf Coast trader said, “because the weather load just isn’t there” for the most part. Although she continued to have no problem selling the production of her company’s clients gas, “I just don’t get it any more,” she confessed in reference to rising prices this week being based on generally modest weather fundamentals. Maybe some traders are factoring a heat build-up forecast for much of the East later this week? she asked rhetorically.
The trader noted there have been frequent concerns about near-full storage injection capacity recently, but said in light of Monday’s and Tuesday’s price strength, apparently there weren’t many such concerns early this week.
In its six- to 10-day forecast posted Tuesday afternoon for the Aug. 10-14 workweek, the National Weather Service (NWS) predicted above-normal temperatures in a wide arc extending from southwestern Texas into southeastern North Dakota and the northwest corner of Minnesota on the west side, encompassing the entire Midwest and extending into western Pennsylvania and near the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina. Much of the Southeast is included in the above-normal area, but areas along the Gulf Coast were excluded. NWS looks for below-normal readings in all of New England along with the eastern edge of New York, plus everywhere west of a line running south from western Montana through central Arizona.
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