With the market left to mull the potential impact of cooler long-range forecast trends and near-term heat, natural gas futures were trading slightly higher early Tuesday. The August Nymex futures contract was trading 2.4 cents higher at $2.291/MMBtu soon after 8:30 a.m. ET.
Bespoke Weather Services viewed the latest fundamentals data as more bullish compared to 24 hours ago, though overnight forecasts shifted cooler overall for the 11-15 day period.
Guidance puts the 11-15 day period “near normal in terms of demand, as the best cooling for now lies in the middle of the nation,” the firm said. “It is possible that this period moves a bit cooler yet in future forecasts. This does not change the near term, which remains hotter for the balance of this week through the Midwest, East and Southeast. Hottest days, however, come right around the Independence Day holiday period, which will mitigate impact somewhat.”
Bespoke noted “more reasonable” numbers for the latest production and liquefied natural gas (LNG) totals “after some very peculiar data” Monday. “Production was revised up to within 0.7 Bcf of the highs yesterday, though today’s initial print is again low,” according to the firm.
“This will not hold after revisions. LNG was revised up yesterday, and the preliminary data shows a new high today. Also revised upward were burns, as they are much stronger than in yesterday’s initial data.”
Meanwhile, Energy Aspects issued a preliminary estimate for an 80 Bcf build for this week’s Energy Information Administration storage report, scheduled for release a day earlier than usual because of the Fourth of July holiday. Energy Aspects estimated that a 2.5 Bcf/d increase in power burn week/week will drive down the injection rate, offsetting a 0.4 Bcf/d increase in domestic supply.
“From here on we expect injection rates to fall precipitously,” the firm said, noting that its power burn models show daily rates approaching 40 Bcf/d for the first few days of July. But the heat “is also closely aligned with the potential demand dampening effect from the Fourth of July holiday.”
Energy Aspects said it expects “record gas burn” in July, but this comes as production has also been running above the weekly highs observed last December.
“With news on the arbitration process on Sur de Texas-Tuxpan, a scenario in which cross-border exports increase dramatically looks off the table,” according to the firm. “The fundamental backdrop is still looking quite loose, with our estimates through the week of July 12 indicating it is running 5 Bcf/d looser on average. Given the very short bias of the market, however, any massive step up in weather could leave the market exposed to an overshoot.”
August crude oil futures were trading 51 cents lower at $58.58/bbl shortly after 8:30 a.m. ET, while August RBOB gasoline was off about 1.4 cents at $1.9161/gal.