As traders contemplated disagreement between the major weather models in the latest forecasts, natural gas futures were trading slightly lower early Wednesday. The November Nymex contract was down 1.0 cent to $2.278/MMBtu at around 8:40 a.m. ET.
Trends were mixed in the overnight weather data, with the European model coming in slightly warmer and the American model moving in the colder direction, according to Bespoke Weather Services.
“This is opening up a decent gap between the two models in terms of projected demand,” the forecaster said. The American guidance showed a stronger cold shot in the six- to 10-day period and less warmth returning to the East, and “it also implies a colder 16-20 day” compared to the European model.
“We continue to be more aligned” with the European dataset “in our official forecast, which, variability aside, keeps overall demand rather unimpressive as we head into late October. There is definitely some notable cold on the maps, but as of right now it hangs back in areas that are not as important for natural gas usage.”
In terms of balances, Bespoke said nothing in the latest data “suggests any notable tightening,” implying downward pressure on prices absent a “more durable” colder shift in the forecast.
NatGasWeather similarly noted a “much more bearish” outlook from the European model over the 15-day forecast period.
“Overall, we continue to view weather patterns as bearish unless there were to be much colder trends in the 11-15 day period,” especially given the warmer outlook from the European data, the forecaster said.
Maxar’s Weather Desk highlighted a cool change for the central Lower 48 in its latest six- to 10-day forecast, owing to high pressure originating from Canada. Otherwise, Wednesday’s forecast carried over similar themes from the previous outlook.
“These include an upper low slowly tracking from the Upper Midwest at the start of the period toward the north and east,” Maxar said. “This feature will keep a cool air flow in place through the North-Central, where rounds of below normal temperatures are forecast. Belows also reach the East Coast at the end of the period, but mid-period warming precedes.”
Further out in the 11-15 day period, the forecaster noted warmer trends for the Midwest and California, but cautioned that “confidence remains low on the still unclear influence the remnants of west Pacific typhoon Hagibis may have.”
November crude oil was trading 53 cents higher at $53.16/bbl shortly after 8:40 a.m. ET, while November RBOB gasoline was up about 1.6 cents to $1.5973/gal.