Moderating summer heat in the latest forecasts helped send natural gas futures a few cents lower in early trading Monday. As of 8:45 a.m. ET, the July Nymex contract was down 3.8 cents to $3.059/MMBtu.
The temperature outlook trended slightly cooler over the weekend, according to Bespoke Weather Services, leading the firm to remove 2-3 gas-weighted degree days from its projections for the next 15 days versus expectations on Friday.
“We still have impressive heat this week, with widespread 90s for highs for in the Midwest and East, but a stronger trough diving into the eastern half of the nation next week leads to cooler weather, as best heat shifts back toward the Rockies and Plains,” Bespoke said. “This brings national demand a little below the five-year normal, briefly, before rebounding back to normal as we move out toward June 20.”
Aside from the cooler forecast, Bespoke also pointed to data showing Lower 48 production climbing above 92 Bcf/d over the weekend as a contributing factor to the price decline early Monday.
Liquefied natural gas feed gas volumes “have taken a hit, now under 10 Bcf/d, with ongoing maintenance at various facilities,” the firm added. “Weather-adjusted power burns have moved weaker as well.”
The July contract is coming off a 5.6-cent gain on Friday. According to EBW Analytics Group, new developments surrounding a disruption on Tetco (aka Texas Eastern Transmission Co.) spurred the rally.
“On Friday, prices shot higher after reports that Tetco may have to re-apply for a permit before it can restore full pressure on its 30-inch line running from Appalachia to delivery points in the South,” the EBW analysts said. “If it becomes necessary for Tetco to re-apply for a permit, the pipeline operator may have to run its line at reduced pressure for much of the summer, if not longer, reducing flows to the Gulf Coast and potentially boosting gas prices at Henry Hub.”
Meanwhile, from a technical standpoint ICAP Technical Analysis said in a recent note to clients that its focus for the July contract will be on resistance to start the week.
“Will be watching intently to see if the bulls can better the $3.150 and $3.204 highs,” ICAP analyst Brian LaRose said. “If they can, the door will be open for a test of the spot highs at $3.316 and $3.396. If they can not, the bears would get another opportunity to make a run at the May lows.”
July crude oil futures were off 21 cents to $69.41/bbl as of 8:45 a.m. ET, while July RBOB gasoline was down a penny to $2.2015/gal.
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