Helped by some colder trends from forecasts overnight, natural gas futures rode technical momentum to a small gain in early trading Tuesday. The April Nymex contract was up 3.0 cents to $1.786/MMBtu at around 8:45 a.m. ET.
The latest forecast from Bespoke Weather Services underwent a small colder adjustment but remained “very warm overall.” The forecaster projected 70 fewer gas-weighted degree days compared to normal levels over the next 15 days.
“At this point, it feels like we repeat the same thing every day, but the pattern continues to look nearly identical to the base state that has dominated the entire season, at least since the middle of November,” Bespoke said. “We see no blocking on either side of North America, with the continuation of anomalous upper level troughing from Alaska over to Greenland.
“There is still no sign that this changes, indicating that we will stay quite warm into the back half of March, likely resulting in another top 10 warm month, historically, very different from the cold March of one year ago.”
Analysts at EBW Analytics Group said the price gains to start the week have been more technically driven rather than supported by a change in the weather outlook.
Monday’s rally “was further supported by a powerful (albeit most likely temporary) rebound in the oil market and equities, which may have briefly assuaged concerns regarding potential” U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export shut-ins later this year, the EBW analysts said.
“This morning’s weather forecast remains bearish,” but it adds some gas-weighted heating demand during the 10-15 day window, “boosting prices further in early trading. Technical factors call for the April contract to test resistance near $1.82. If it can be pierced, a test of $1.89 is possible. The more likely scenario, however, is for resistance to hold, after which prices are likely to retreat.”
Meanwhile, Genscape Inc.’s latest reading of LNG feed gas deliveries showed a sharp drop early Tuesday, falling to 7.19 Bcf/d, the lowest level in the past 18 days and the second lowest level in the past 45 days, according to the firm.
“Deliveries to Sabine Pass for today are down to 2.6 Bcf/d, their lowest levels since mid-January,” Genscape senior natural gas analyst Rick Margolin said. “…In addition, today’s deliveries to Corpus Christi have fallen by about 0.3 Bcf/d day/day. Deliveries to Cameron have been on the rise, though…Feed gas deliveries to Cameron have been running close to 1.3 Bcf/d the past three days after barely exceeding 1 Bcf/d the prior 10 days.”
April crude oil futures were up $1.03 to $47.78/bbl at around 8:45 a.m. ET, while April RBOB gasoline was up about 3.1 cents to $1.5709/gal.
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