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Hotter Forecasts Test Bullish Trends as June Natural Gas Called Near Even

June natural gas was set to open Wednesday near even at around $2.911/MMBtu following Tuesday’s strong rally as overnight weather models maintained recent hotter trends for the next two weeks, according to forecasters.

The June contract jumped 9.8 cents Tuesday to settle at $2.908, “one of the largest single day moves in months, likely aided by slight hotter trends east of the Rockies for the next two weeks, which again held in the overnight data,” NatGasWeather.com told clients Wednesday. “Overall, it will be warmer than normal across most of the country into early June, while getting quite hot over the Southwest and Texas.

“We expect this will drive enough natural gas demand to keep deficits in supplies versus the five-year average near 500 Bcf through mid-June, potentially increasing further in the weeks and months after.”

NatGasWeather said forecasts will need to show more widespread highs in the 90s across the southern and eastern United States in order to “turn full-fledged bullish.”

Still, heat is “close to widespread enough to be intimidating, especially over the Southwest and Texas, so the weather data going into the long Memorial Day weekend will need to be watched closely since we expect it to be the first risky weekend to hold in numerous weeks” due to the possibility of more heat showing up in the outlook, especially for the second and third weeks of June, according to the firm.

Radiant Solutions on Wednesday said its six- to 10-day forecast “features warmer changes from previous for the Midwest and East” while overall remaining “warm dominated” for most of the country, with heat “focused in the Midcontinent, including most of the Midwest and parts of Texas. Temperatures are kept closer to normal in the Southeast, however.”

In the 11-15 period, Radiant noted “similar themes as in the previous outlook, featuring a widespread coverage of above normal temperatures which span most areas across the Lower 48 and steadily so from the West to Central. However, the coverage of aboves are expected to wane from the Midwest to the East as the period progresses.”

INTL FCStone Financial Inc. Senior Vice President Tom Saal told NGI Tuesday that he’s bullish overall given the large storage deficits at this point in the season.

“We’ve got these deficits, and the people who are bearish are saying don’t worry about it, we’ve got plenty of gas,” Saal said. “I’m saying, ‘Show me.’ Last week, we put in over 100 Bcf, and the market rallied on that, which is pretty impressive. Are we going to do another 100 Bcf this week? Maybe not. Some of the early indications are it’s going to be less than 100 Bcf” due to recent hotter weather.

Intercontinental Exchange futures for this week’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) storage report settled Tuesday at an injection of 94 Bcf. Last year, EIA recorded a 74 Bcf build for the period, with a five-year average injection of 89 Bcf.

July crude oil was set to open about 31 cents lower at around $71.89/bbl, while June RBOB gasoline was trading about 1.4 cents lower at around $2.2560/gal.

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