June natural gas is set to open a penny higher Thursday morning at $3.22 as traders put the pencil to expected government storage figures that are anticipated to show a continuing tight market relative to longer-term historical averages. Overnight oil markets eased.
Overnight weather models came in somewhat cooler, according to MDA Weather Services in its morning report to clients. "A small cool adjustment is made from parts of the South-Central to the Mid-Atlantic, with most areas across the Eastern Half expected to average the period within just a couple of degrees of normal. This comes with cooler risks, however, most notably from the Euro Ensemble and its projection of ‘belows’ from the Plains points East. While the American model is likewise cooler than forecast in some of these areas, both models have been cool biased of late.
"The most steady region of above normal temperatures is in the West, with MAs [much above normal temperatures] seen early in the Northwest and into mid-period in interior parts. Risks are cooler across the Eastern Half, based on the European model. This includes in Texas, where models differ in their rainfall projections. GFS is warmer in the Rockies and Plains."
Estimates of Thursday's Energy Information Storage report are swirling around the low 70 Bcf range, close to last week's 68 Bcf, but still below five-year average levels. "Week on week, fundamental data seems fairly flat or it otherwise presented enough offsetting elements that we should be looking for a report this week very similar to last week," said John Sodergreen, editor of The Desk. Upper 60s to low 70s should be spot-on this week.
"That said, last week's weather was 44% warmer than last year and 17% warmer than the five-year average."
ICAP Energy is looking for an injection of 74 Bcf, and IAF Advisors calculates a 69 Bcf build. A Reuters survey of 22 traders and analysts revealed a sample mean of 71 Bcf with a range of +65 Bcf to +82 Bcf. Last year 71 Bcf was injected and the five-year pace is a 90 Bcf increase.
In overnight Globex trading July crude oil fell 68 cents to $50.68/bbl and July RBOB gasoline retreated a penny to $1.6363/gal.