Some slightly cooler overnight weather trends, but with above normal temperatures still expected later this month into early August, had natural gas futures trading close to even early Tuesday. The August Nymex futures contract was down 0.3 cents to $2.309/MMBtu shortly after 8:30 a.m. ET.
Both the Global Forecast System (GFS) and European models trended slightly cooler overnight, dropping a handful of cooling degree days (CDD) from the outlook, according to NatGasWeather.
“No major changes timing-wise, as demand will be lighter than normal through Friday, then increasing this weekend through early August as a warmer U.S. pattern returns,” the forecaster said. “However, at issue is the pattern still might not be hot enough to satisfy” as “even though daily forecast national CDDs are expected to be above normal,” it will take much above normal cooling demand to result in below average storage injections.
“If the GFS and European models had trended further hotter overnight, the data would have likely taken on a bullish bias, but since they didn’t, the pattern is more likely to be viewed as neutral or not quite hot enough.”
Radiant Solutions made a small cooler adjustment focused in the Midwest around the middle of its latest six- to 10-day outlook.
“Otherwise, changes were minimal most elsewhere,” the forecaster said. “The period continues to feature a continuation of above normal coverage in the West, peaking near much above normal levels early in Las Vegas. This more intense heat in the region eases in the second half, alongside an increase in monsoonal moisture. A round of low pressure will track across central and eastern Canada, enhancing warmth downstream. Aboves return to the East as a result.”
Further out in the 11-15 day period, Radiant said the same overall themes carried over into its updated forecast Tuesday.
“Above normal temperatures are forecast in the West and from the Great Lakes toward the East. Near normal temperatures are in the South,” Radiant said. “...Confidence remains at moderate levels for this time frame.”
Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) was monitoring a tropical depression three early Tuesday moving northward between southeastern Florida and the northwest Bahamas.
“The depression is moving toward the north near 12 mph, and this general motion is forecast to continue through this afternoon,” the NHC said. “A motion toward the north-northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected tonight, followed by a turn toward the northeast on Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of the depression should remain offshore the coast of the southeastern United States through Wednesday.”
Analysts at Genscape Inc. said they do not anticipate any major market impact from this latest tropical weather system.
“Its current storm track does not trend toward the mainland, and its projected intensity is not expected to be of great or of long duration,” according to Genscape.
September crude oil futures were down 20 cents to $56.02/bbl shortly after 8:30 a.m. ET, while August RBOB gasoline was trading fractionally higher at $1.8330/gal.