Not surprisingly, the cash market was still falling going into the weekend. Generally Friday’s losses were mild at a dime or less, though, and few points fell much more than a dime other than San Juan Basin, Malin and the California border into PG&E.

Border-SoCalGas numbers were mostly flat, allowing that point to avoid the overall softness. Colder weather entering the Pacific Northwest prompted a shipper advisory from Northwest Pipeline and resulted in only small drops of about 3 cents for Sumas and Stanfield.

“It’s that time of year again.” That was one marketer’s assessment of why prices were able to shrug off the post-season blasts of winter hitting many parts of the East until late last week, and continued to weaken after last Monday’s one-day rally. He meant that the market fundamentals of a true shoulder month were coming into play more strongly.

The big storage refill volume reported by AGA blunted some of the urgency about hurrying up with injection season, another trader pointed out. And with the unusually cold weather of last week fading away Friday, with little in the way of air conditioning load to replace it, weather-related demand figures to be rather benign for a while, he added.

The market was rather featureless as the week ended, a couple of sources agreed. The screen gave few clues, they said, as it remained mildly softer during morning cash trading only to push mildly higher in the afternoon.

A large aggregator said he was “trying to do something for May this [Friday] afternoon, but I can’t drum up any interest.” It seemed like most Houston-based traders had left their offices early to go to the Shell Houston Open golf tournament, he said. A Gulf Coast marketer said he had been approached about May purchases by an end-user, “but we just weren’t ready to get involved with that yet.”

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