Nearly all of the cash market remained in a downhill slide Monday as mild to cool weather dominated the overall outlook, and cold conditions returning in a couple of regions proved unable to generate enough heating load at their associated pricing points. The restoration of industrial demand from its normal weekend hiatus had essentially no bullish impact.
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Nobody is proclaiming winter as “over” yet, but the worst is past as far as many are concerned. The downhill slope for Northeast citygates grew even steeper Friday, and most other points joined them with more mundane losses. Several scattered points ran against the overall market grain by being flat to about a dime higher.
The downhill slope on which virtually all points were launched Wednesday got even steeper across the board Thursday, and promises to be even more slippery Friday following a dollar-plus swan dive by January natural gas futures. Heating load is diminishing dramatically as the harsh cold in which many markets began the week continues to become past tense.
Responding to generally weak weather-related demand, healthy use of storage and the screen’s pre-New Year’s Eve drop of about a quarter, swing prices continued to decline Monday in the still-nascent new year. The common range of declines between about 20 cents and about 65 cents reflected larger drops than occurred last Thursday in most cases.
Continuing the downhill slide from where the now-expired July contract left off on Monday, the August natural gas futures contract sloughed off another 8.3 cents on Tuesday to close at $6.118.
The downhill slope for swing prices got a bit steeper Wednesday. Most points recorded losses between 10 and 20 cents, although a few in the San Juan/Rockies market saw smaller declines as high temperatures continued to hit the century mark in much of the interior West.
The downhill price path got steeper for nearly all points Wednesday except for a few in the West. Traders continued to dwell on the relative brevity of a heat wave this week in northern market areas and their expectations of another 100 Bcf-plus storage refill in Thursday morning’s report by the Energy Information Administration.
The downhill slope for late-April swing prices got even slipperier in many cases Tuesday. In a delayed response to the expiration-day plunge in May futures and cognizant of the dearth of weather-related load in virtually every market, month-ending prices fell between about a dime and more than half a dollar, with San Juan gas again joining the Rockies in taking the biggest hits.