Fitch Ratings in a report last week said continued weakness in natural gas prices may spell trouble for many U.S. independent electricity generators.
Articles from Spell
Nuclear power’s loss in Japan is rapidly turning out to spell gain for natural gas — and not least in Western Canada. Aspiring overseas exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) heard that encouraging word from international market participants Wednesday in the Canadian industry capital of Calgary.
Nuclear power’s loss in Japan is rapidly turning out to spell gain for natural gas — and not least in Western Canada. Aspiring overseas exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) heard that encouraging word from international market participants recently in the Canadian industry capital of Calgary.
Building off Friday’s impressive gains, December natural gas futures on Monday continued to test the upside as traders braced for a cold spell that is expected to affect much of the eastern half of the United States. The prompt-month contract reached a high of $4.293 before closing out the regular session at $4.271, up 10.7 cents from Friday’s finish.
As the general weekend respite from a widespread spell of cold weather proved to be fleeting, prices rebounded strongly Monday from their only overall softness of the previous week. Besides the prospects of heating load shooting higher again, the previous Friday’s 15.7-cent gain by December futures and the return of industrial demand from its typical weekend lull contributed to cash market increases.
After strong gains over the previous two days based on a widespread cold spell, prices began retreating at nearly all points Friday as forecasts indicated a return to more seasonal temperatures in most areas. The normal weekend drop of industrial load was another bearish influence, while the prior-day uptick of 2 cents by December futures had no appreciable impact on the physical market.
Except for an enclave of still-rising points in the New England market, the latest cold spell wasn’t any more successful in sustaining a price rally than others in recent weeks have been. Modest warming trends in the Midwest and lower Northeast/Mid-Atlantic, along with a plunge of 20.6 cents by December futures a day earlier, pushed a large majority of points lower by double-digit amounts Tuesday.
With some of the regions hardest hit by severe wintry weather last week getting a breathing spell during the weekend before the next onslaught is predicted to start early this week — and a long holiday weekend contributing its extra interruption of industrial load — prices fell at nearly all points Friday. The previous day’s 10.4-cent increase by March futures apparently had little impact on the cash market.