A cooler weather outlook over the weekend and another daily production record put the pressure on natural gas futures prices early Monday. The September Nymex futures contract had slid 5.7 cents to $2.143/MMBtu shortly after 8:30 a.m. ET.
Forecasts trended cooler compared to Friday’s expectations, according to the Bespoke Weather Services.
“The change comes due to variability in the eastern half of the nation as we move through the final third of the month, with cooler changes late this week into the weekend, and another round of cooler change at the very end of the month,” Bespoke said. “This still appears to be just another window of variability embedded in the overall base state that still favors above normal demand, with the expectation being that we can see the eastern U.S. warm back up after the opening of September.”
Even with the cooler trends in the latest guidance, Bespoke said it still favors above normal demand overall for the month of September.
Radiant Solutions similarly highlighted cooler changes in its latest six- to 10-day forecast Monday.
“High pressure, originating out of Canada and into the Midwest during the latter stages of the one- to five-day period, has been a feature of volatility among guidance since the weekend,” Radiant said. “Model trends this morning are additionally stronger, and the forecast responds with cooler changes that carry into this time frame.
“Below normal temperatures are in the Midwest at the start of the period, while the East is under below normal coverage through mid-period. The Midcontinent is variable, however, with some areas being briefly above normal at mid-period.”
Radiant’s latest 11-15 day forecast also moved in the cooler direction thanks to “decent agreement” among the models in moving “another round of high pressure” out of Canada into the Midwest and East.
“A round of near to slightly below normal temperatures are expected to accompany, and there may be additional cool risk given how a similar pattern has rolled forward into the nearer term,” the forecaster said.
Meanwhile, production continues to set records, with Sunday’s output hitting a new high, according to numbers from Genscape Inc.
“We estimate Lower 48 output breached the 92 Bcf/d mark for the first time in history, coming in at 92.04 Bcf/d,” senior natural gas analyst Rick Margolin said. “This is the 10th time since July 1 that a new daily high has been established. Today’s estimate is only slightly lower at 91.86 Bcf/d, but most weekday top-day estimates have been revised up in subsequent reporting cycles lately.”
Month-to-date August production is averaging 91.28 Bcf/d, more than 0.85 Bcf/d higher than Genscape’s forecast for the month. This highlights that “there are presently more upside risks to our near- and mid-term production forecasts than downside risks,” Margolin said.
September crude oil futures were trading 24 cents higher at $55.11/bbl shortly after 8:30 a.m. ET, while September RBOB gasoline was up fractionally to $1.6593/gal.