September natural gas futures were set to open Wednesday about 2.0 cents lower at around $2.939 as weather guidance overnight continued to advertise cooler medium-range trends in the forecast for the East.
NatGasWeather said models maintained the cooler changes from Tuesday focused around a system over the eastern half of the country expected next week.
“The weather models after next week still favor very warm to hot high pressure returning over most of the country, just stalling in its arrival by a few days,” the firm said. “However, it’s quite possible additional weather systems continue to find flaws in the upper ridge in time for additional cooler trends over the northern and east-central U.S. to close out August.
“...Overall, the data remains neutral,” given above-normal cooling degree days, “but leans closer toward bearish than it did to open the week,” NatGasWeather said.
The firm added that the recent cooler trends figure to hold prices below $3 until Thursday’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) storage report, which could grow the year-on-five-year inventory deficit to around 600 Bcf.
Radiant Solutions also noted cooler adjustments on Wednesday to its latest six- to 10-day (Aug. 20-24) outlook.
“Early period high pressure wedging in along the East Coast as well as a second surface high left in the wake of a mid-period storm system bring cooler changes to the forecast in the East,” Radiant said. “The region is now expected to average in the normal category, a theme echoed in the Midcontinent and South as well. No major changes are made from the West to Central, with the West remaining steadily above normal during this period.”
Radiant said its latest 11-15 day (Aug. 25-29) outlook stayed “mostly consistent” with earlier forecasts, showing above normal temperatures across the West and East.
Bespoke Weather Services said Wednesday it still sees “significant cool risks” in the medium-range but easing longer-term.
“September natural gas prices are extending their move lower this morning as we continue to see looser power burns, production rise toward record highs, and higher confidence cool forecasts in the medium-range,” Bespoke said. “$2.90 remains in play into tomorrow’s EIA print, though we expect lower support levels to hold firm given a supportive strip and what should be more firm cash prices again today with heat peaking in the next couple of days.
“Selling is by far the most intense at the front of the strip, which makes sense given burn loosening and cooler weather, but we would need to see both cash and winter strip fall back more to expect support to be convincingly broken.”
The firm said it would look for $2.90-2.92 support to hold until this week’s EIA data releases, with a build above 31 Bcf likely to put $2.85 in play.
September crude oil was set to open about 67 cents lower at around $66.37/bbl, while September RBOB gasoline was trading near even at around $2.0339/gal.