As the congressional spotlight on commodities trading and regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) grew brighter and hotter last week, it also narrowed its focus as legislators made clear they are almost exclusively interested in natural gas trading, the Amaranth case and the surrounding infrastructure, namely the CFTC, the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE).
Articles from Hotter
As the congressional spotlight on commodities trading and regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) grew brighter and hotter Thursday, it also narrowed its focus as legislators made clear they are almost exclusively interested in the natural gas market, the Amaranth case and the surrounding infrastructure, namely the CFTC, the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE).
Forecasts of Tuesday highs in the 80s throughout most of the South and even hotter weather in the desert Southwest, along with the previous Friday’s 17.3-cent gain by June futures, paved the way for higher prices at nearly all points Monday. Still-robust storage injection demand and the return of industrial load from its weekend hiatus also contributed to Monday’s overall firmness.
Likely in anticipation of much hotter weather in most of the East this week, non-West quotes were only moderately softer in many cases Friday and even included several flat points in the Gulf Coast and Northeast and a small uptick at Iroquois Zone 2.
Hotter temperatures year-round could be here to stay, according to a new report on global temperatures by a National Research Council committee. The council said there is “sufficient evidence” from tree rings, boreholes, retreating glaciers, and other “proxies” of past surface temperatures to say with a high level of confidence that the last few decades of the 20th century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years.
California’s energy future is balanced precariously between runaway costs and the threat of severe shortages, particularly in a “hotter-than-average” summer, according to the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) draft 2005 “Integrated Energy Policy Report,” released last Friday. Touching on everything from global climate change to the cost of gasoline and growing reliance on natural gas, the 157-page report delivers a sobering message for Californians.
Prices were up across the board Thursday, with a solid majority of gains in double digits. Hotter weather trends in the Midwest and South were due to push highs into the 80s and 90s across most of both regions Friday, causing them to join the already sizzling West as sources of rising power generation load.
There were a few gains in cash prices Friday, primarily in the growing-hotter Northeast, but they were strongly outweighed by softness in the rest of the market. The West was uniformly lower by double-digit amounts as excess supplies, OFOs and a general cooling trend weighed on regional pricing.
In sharp contrast with most of the energy forecasts from a few months ago — which called for a hotter than normal summer — this is likely to be one of the milder summers of the past decade, according to a report by Stephen Smith Energy Associates. The report, issued Wednesday, noted that cooling degree days collectively were 16% lower than normal for the past nine weeks.
Although hot weather fundamentals continued to get a little stronger Friday, they were unable to overcome the negative market influences of the usual slump in industrial load over a weekend combined with the previous day’s bearish storage report and large screen decline.