Prices continued to deteriorate Tuesday for much the same reasonas in the previous couple of trading days: weather that’s cool butnot sufficiently cold to generate significant heating demand. Therewasn’t even much cooling load left in Texas after astorm-generating cold front that had knocked out phone service indowntown Tulsa for several hours Monday got as far south asHouston.

Unlike Monday, Western points joined in the overall downturnTuesday, although declines in the California market were minor. Itwas actually heating up a bit in Southern California, one sourcesaid.

“At least we didn’t see nearly as much volatility as [onMonday],” a big aggregator said. Few trading ranges exceeded anickel. The aggregator sees more downside left in the cash market,”but I’m not sure how low it can go.”

A marketer said “we were lazy” after paying $2.02 at theSouthern California border and $2.24 at the PG&E citygate. “Hadwe bought Topock to move up to the citygate, we could have saved 2cents,” he said, citing the approximate transport cost of 20 cents.

A Texas trader considers the market “really hard to read rightnow” because it continues to send confusing signals. It looked likeSouthwest basin prices were coming off very hard Tuesday, but therewas some rebound as there appeared to be a short squeeze toward theend, he said. “It looks like we may have found some support in theWest around index.” He suspects that sellers don’t want to sellbelow index, so they’ll “pl ay games” by hiding their gas on thepipeline or in storage for a couple of days and hoping theartificial decrease in supply will bring prices back up.

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