November natural gas futures were trading slightly higher early Wednesday, up about 2.3 cents to $3.262 at around 8:30 a.m. ET, as forecasters noted small adjustments to the latest weather outlook overnight.
Radiant Solutions reported only minor changes to its latest six- to 10-day (Oct. 22-26) and 11-15 day (Oct. 27-31) outlooks Wednesday, which continue to show widespread below-normal temperatures in the Midwest and East over the next two weeks.
In the six- to 10-day, “the overall themes from the previous outlook remain in today’s forecast...with most areas across the Eastern Half in the below and much below normal categories,” Radiant said. “This comes with additional cold risk as high pressure of Arctic origins makes its way southward and into the Midwest at mid-period. The feature then progresses toward the East for the second half.”
As for the 11-15 day, “forecast changes are generally small in this period as well, with only the Rockies being warmer versus previous early on,” the firm said. “Much like in preceding periods, most areas across the Eastern Half reside on the cold side of normal.”
Bespoke Weather Services counted a small drop in projected gas-weighted degree days for the next two weeks based on the overnight guidance, including slight warming in the medium range.
But guidance was also “equally if not a touch more threatening for cold to remain sustained now into the first third of November, potentially canceling out any slightly milder trends in the medium range as the pattern adjusts,” Bespoke said. “...Our sentiment remains neutral as weather refuses to provide the cracks necessary to pull the front of the strip any lower. Early indications are that balances are a touch tighter today; again we saw burns revised up a bit” and liquefied natural gas export volumes have recovered.
“We are waiting to see how much production comes back online as Canadian imports remain off” while residential/commercial demand “increases with sizable cold...if enough production comes online from the Gulf of Mexico, we could see a bit of cash weakness that would pull down the front of the strip,” the firm said.
Bespoke said tight supply/demand balances could prompt a test of $3.30 Wednesday, but with production growth and any further warmer forecast trends, it potentially could send prices down to $3.20.
From a technical standpoint, analysts with Rafferty Commodities Group have pegged minor resistance at $3.307 and minor support at $3.215 for the November contract heading into Wednesday’s session.
Even by taking out Monday’s high in trading Tuesday, “the market could not sustain the upside momentum at this time,” Rafferty analysts said. “Nevertheless, we still like buying the market on dips but around our support levels. Since breaking out above the $3.100 area two weeks ago, the market has traded up to our major resistance around the $3.350 area, but it could not close above it.
“Our sights are still on the $3.350 area.” A close below major support levels at $3.167-3.150-3.107 would “change our bullish outlook.”
Shortly after 8 a.m. ET, November crude oil was trading about 44 cents lower at around $71.48/bbl, while November RBOB gasoline was trading close to even at $1.9766/gal.