After getting hammered last week, natural gas futures were trading several cents higher early Monday, drawing support from hotter trends for the first week of July in the latest guidance. The Nymex July futures contract was up 4.8 cents to $2.234/MMBtu shortly after 8:30 a.m. ET.
Heading into Monday’s session, Bespoke Weather Services shifted its forecast hotter for the first week of July, though the firm noted that trends in the models were mixed over the weekend.
The European model, “which had been the coolest model in terms of its surface temperature projection all of last week,” added several gas-weighted degree days (GWDD) over the weekend by “slowing down the retreat of heat back into the western U.S.,” Bespoke said. “It was joined by the Canadian ensemble, which made a similar shift.”
The American model, meanwhile, had been hotter last week but shifted cooler over the weekend, with changes focused on a three- to four-day period around the start of July, according to the forecaster.
“The weather component shifted a little more bullish over the weekend” because the European model showed “a little more heat into early July, but the overall weaker fundamentals data this morning keeps us neutral,” Bespoke said, citing an uptick in the latest supply readings and somewhat weaker weather-adjusted power burns.
Radiant Solutions highlighted hotter changes across the Midwest and East in its latest six- to 10-day forecast Monday.
“There is notable uncertainty across the eastern third as models diverge on the positioning of a trough dipping into the East toward the middle of the period,” Radiant said. The American model has this trough “much further west” than the European and Canadian models and thus “projects belows across most of the eastern third where the Euro is normal to above normal.”
Radiant said its forecast leans closer to the European model’s outlook “given better performance of late.” Meanwhile, Radiant’s latest 11-15 day forecast trended hotter in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast and cooler in the Northeast.
“Aboves are favored from the West to north-central U.S., which has good model support,” the forecaster said. “An area of aboves is also projected in the Southeast. Temperatures are on the cooler side of normal from the central/southern Plains to southwestern Midwest in an unsettled pattern.”
Alhough prices were higher early Monday, the latest data on exports to Mexico might not be too encouraging for the bulls. Genscape Inc. said its latest estimate showed flows across the southern border dropping to a 65-day low.
This comes “just days after new record highs were continually being established,” senior natural gas analyst Rick Margolin said. “Our estimate for today’s cross-border flows has dropped to 4.4 Bcf/d, nearly 1 Bcf/d below the prior seven-day average. We are seeing substantial declines in flows from South Texas, West Texas and California.”
The drop-off in exports to Mexico coincides with a recovery in Canadian imports thanks to the conclusion of a force majeure event on Alliance Pipeline. Genscape calculated cross-border flows from Canada for Monday of 1.24 Bcf/d, versus an average 1.38 Bcf/d in the 30 days prior to the Alliance disruption.
August crude oil futures were up 51 cents to $57.94/bbl shortly after 8:30 a.m. ET, while July RBOB gasoline was up around 2.8 cents to $1.8839/gal.