August natural gas is set to open 6 cents higher Tuesday morning at $3.08 as the warmest temperatures of the season are expected to roll through the market. Overnight oil markets rose.
Near-term heat is expected to give the market a boost. "Temperatures east of the Mississippi River are going to take a material turn higher this week," said EnergyGPS in a morning note to clients. "Thursday through Saturday's forecast is showing the day-time highs stretch into the mid to high 90s, which will put this as the hottest days of the summer thus far. Compounding the heat will be high humidity making the indexes near triple digits."
Weather models overnight, however, turned slightly cooler. "[Tuesday's] six-to-10 day period forecast is generally cooler than yesterday's forecast, except across the southwestern US," said forecaster WSI Corp. in its morning report to clients. Continental United States population-weighted cooling degree days “are down 2.3 to 59.2 for the period, which are 3.8 above average.
"Forecast confidence is average. Medium range models are in reasonably good agreement with the progression of the large scale pattern. There are some technical differences and inherent uncertainty with increasing rain chances over the eastern and southern US."
Near-term heat is good enough for traders. "Although extreme heat across key consuming regions of the US remains elusive, coverage of warm temps and extension into next month has put the money managers back on the defensive," said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates in a morning report to clients. "With the warm temps now stretched, the dynamic of storage surplus contraction could remain as a significant supportive influence for a couple more trading sessions.
"However, we feel that Thursday's EIA [Energy Information Administration] storage report will offer a bearish figure that could potentially push nearby futures back to below the $3.00 level. Our expected injection will likely prove significantly larger than most street ideas as we anticipate that the prior week's much smaller than normal build will see some upward adjustment. With this in mind, we will look for additional gains to the 3.12 area prior to the issuance of the EIA report as an opportunity to accept profits and stand aside."
In overnight Globex trading August crude oil rose 73 cents to $46.75/bbl and August RBOB gasoline gained 3 cents to $1.5832/gal.