March 4, 2002; Oil Price Advancing

Though six-year oil price bubbled 4% to $21.39 from $20.63, the one-year oil futures price advanced 6% to $22.42 to widen a slight backwardation that has appeared in the past three weeks.  That awkward word used by commodity traders implies a lower price for delivery further in the future.  Natural gas futures exhibit the strongly bullish contango pattern.  The one-year natural gas price is 82% of the six-year price that fluctuated to $3.40 from $3.38 in the past week (see Chart). 


March 4, 2002; Meter Reader: Tell the Truth