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Overnight Forecasts Advertise More Heat Risks; June Natural Gas Called Higher

June natural gas was set to open Tuesday about 3.7 cents higher at around $2.847/MMBtu as the weather outlook overnight showed additional heat risks for the next two weeks, according to forecasters.

Bespoke Weather Services said it added a “sizable” 7.5 gas-weighted degree days (GWDD) to its tally based on the overnight trends.

“Weather models overnight turned remarkably more supportive as models have picked up on more continued heat risks into early June,” Bespoke said. The overnight trends “should pull GWDDs significantly above average through the next two weeks and really limit the size of injections moving forward.”

Climate guidance, however, still shows long-range cooler risks, according to the firm.

“Weather has now turned bullish enough that our sentiment is briefly slightly bullish, as if these forecasts hold any pullbacks towards $2.80 and especially $2.75 would become very strong buying opportunities,” Bespoke said. “Meanwhile, current forecast adjustments would seem to put $2.87 in play today as well.”

If forecast trends hold a bullish miss Thursday from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) storage report could see a break in resistance, the firm said.

The Desk’s Early View storage survey last Friday showed respondents on average expecting the EIA to report a 96.4 Bcf build for the week ending May 18. Intercontinental Exchange EIA storage futures settled Monday at an injection of 87 Bcf for the upcoming report. Last year, EIA recorded a 74 Bcf build for the period, with a five-year average injection of 89 Bcf.

The early morning gains reverse the price action from Monday, when the prompt month sold off 3.7 cents to settle at $2.810.

EBW Analytics Group CEO Andy Weissman attributed the declines Monday to profit-taking as “with forecasts for the first few weeks in June calling for moderate weather, traders who rode the market higher last week saw little reason to expect further increases.”

Cooling degree day gains Tuesday “may prevent the market from falling even more today,” Weissman said. But “absent a major sustained shift in the June weather forecast...losses heading into the Memorial Day holiday” are likely.

From a technical standpoint, analysts with Rafferty Commodities Group noted after Monday’s close that the monthly, weekly and daily charts all continue to show a “general sideways market” for natural gas.

“After testing the $2.870 area last week on the upside and the $2.794 area on the downside with a minor violation or two of these boundaries, we want to stick with our strategies of trading against our numbers until the market can close beyond our major numbers either way,” the analysts said.

June crude oil was set to open Tuesday about 26 cents higher at around $72.50/bbl, while June RBOB gasoline was trading fractionally higher at around $2.2654/gal.

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