The December aftermarket got off to a very strong start at nearly all points Thursday as the heating season’s first major winter storm, having already occupied the western two-thirds of North America, signaled its intention of invading the rest of the continent by early in the weekend. Once again, the 31.2-cent jump by January futures in their prompt-month debut Wednesday added to the fundamental weather support for cash prices.
Articles from Aftermarket
The September aftermarket got off to a very weak start in most cases Thursday. Nearly all points plummeted by anywhere from 35 cents to 90 cents Thursday as cooling load continued to shrink and Wednesday’s screen dive of nearly 60 cents applied negative pressure on physical prices.
The March aftermarket began Tuesday pretty much the same as February’s daily market ended — with sizeable losses across the board. Prospects for any significant recovery in cash prices are dim, with relatively light heating load for the foreseeable future, natural gas futures continuing to fall to levels not seen in nearly a year and abundant amounts of gas in storage — much of which must be used or go into the general market within the next month or so.
The February aftermarket got off to a strong beginning Tuesday with advances across the board. They were spurred largely by the screen’s huge run-up of nearly 90 cents the day before and to a lesser degree by modest growth in heating load.
In a tremendously weak beginning of the November aftermarket, triple-digit plunges — some exceeding $2 — permeated Monday’s quotes. Power generation loads were light as mild to cool temperatures prevailed in most areas, and last Friday’s screen dive of more than 60 cents added further downward pressure on cash quotes.
Friday’s October aftermarket-ending trading was much like that of the day before: large price drops across the board. The difference was that declines got much larger at nearly all points. Moderating weather trends, a bearish storage report, prior-day screen weakness and the usual weekend drop in industrial load were cited as factors in the softness.
The September aftermarket opened with cash quotes continuing to move higher at a large majority of points Wednesday, but hints were surfacing that this week’s Hurricane Katrina-inspired bull run may have run its course. A modest recovery from massive offshore production outages had begun, and although the near-term Gulf of Mexico (GOM) supply picture remained murky, there were some perceptions that things might not be as bad as they had appeared as recently as Tuesday.
The February aftermarket got launched Monday on a quiet note and with losses outweighing gains. Weather trends were toward moderation in several regions, although parts of the Southeast were still recovering from a weekend ice storm that had left thousands without power.
The June aftermarket was launched Friday with major uprisings in the West arrayed against a mixed but mostly moderately softer performance at eastern points. Because deals were being done for Tuesday-only flows due to the May-ending holiday weekend, the dropoff in industrial demand typically associated with a weekend was not a negative factor.