Coming out of a weekend that brought a notably hotter forecast outlook and an uptick in estimated export demand, natural gas futures were sharply higher in early trading Monday. The September Nymex contract was up 11.2 cents to $1.911/MMBtu at around 8:40 a.m. ET.
Over the weekend the major weather models, especially the European, trended hotter, showing a return to above-normal temperatures starting next week, according to Bespoke Weather Services.
“This week remains anomalously cool, especially from the Midwest into the mid-South, and we also have rain/wind issues along the East Coast the next couple of days as Isaias moves up the coast,” Bespoke said. However, “by early next week, heat rebuilds from the Plains over to the Midwest and into the Northeast.
“The South holds closer to normal, similar to the predominant pattern seen much of summer to date. The tropics settled down after Isaias, but we still expect plenty more activity over the next several weeks.”
Located “well offshore” the northeast Florida coast early Monday, Isaias was expected to regain hurricane strength before threatening the Carolinas, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an 8 a.m. ET advisory.
“On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will pass well east of the Georgia coast through this morning,” the NHC said. “The center of Isaias will then approach the coast of northeastern South Carolina and southern North Carolina within the hurricane warning area later today.
“The center will then move inland over eastern North Carolina tonight, and move along the coast of the Mid-Atlantic states on Tuesday and into the northeastern United States by Tuesday night.”
Over the next few days Isaias figures to “drench the Atlantic seaboard” and tamp down demand in the cash market in the process, according to analysts at EBW Analytics Group.
“The weekend forecast shift, however, calls for significantly warmer weather than previously expected starting a week from today,” the EBW analysts said. “While temperatures are not expected to be nearly as hot as in recent weeks, bulls are likely to be strongly encouraged by this shift and could try to test resistance between $1.88 and $1.94 early this week.”
Meanwhile, liquefied natural gas (LNG) feed gas demand jumped higher over the weekend, with Genscape Inc.’s estimate showing a 740 MMcf/d day/day increase on Saturday.
“Recently, a Bloomberg survey of traders found that up to 45 cargo cancellations are expected for the month of August, down from roughly 50 for the month prior,” Genscape analyst Preston Fussee-Durham said.
The largest increase in feed gas deliveries occurred at Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass terminal, with volumes to the facility climbing nearly 580 MMcf/d, according to Genscape estimates.
“Effective for today’s gas day (based on timely cycle nominations), feed gas demand from interstate pipelines stands at 3.85 Bcf/d — 0.68 Bcf/d more than July’s average of 3.17 Bcf/d,” Fussee-Durham said.
September crude oil futures were off 4 cents to $40.23/bbl at around 8:40 a.m. ET, while September RBOB gasoline was up about 1.3 cents to $1.1837/gal.
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