BWS Blog


Natural Gas Goes Ballistic

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 5:13PM


It was a natural gas trading day for the record books, as the December natural gas contract shot around 18% higher on the day for the largest move since February 2003.

natural gas commodity weather

For the third day in a row the March contract led the day higher, though to a lesser extent today.

natural gas commodity weather

Colder forecasts were a large culprit for this most recent move as well. In our AM Update we noted significant GWDD additions in the medium-range and long-range. This appeared to lead to a significant stop-out of a short position just before 7 AM Eastern this morning that sent prices soaring.

natural gas commodity weather

Accordingly, by the time our Morning Update was out prices had already soared over $4.9 and had become to come back. We highlighted that from these levels risks were mixed through the day, and noted that while the market seemed "untradeable" intraday given recent volatility we would look for "some weakness off the cash market later" which verified well through the morning session. We also noted significant bullish trends across all major weather models and indicators we tracked that seemed to justify the move, and warned that 12z model guidance had continued bullish risks as well.

natural gas commodity weather

natural gas commodity weather

Sure enough, the 12z GEFS trended significantly colder again and shot the December contract up near highs (images courtesy of Tropical Tidbits).

natural gas commodity weather

With storage levels so low and weather driving so much demand in winter, weather is taking front and center in the natural gas market here. However, traders are still awaiting tomorrow's EIA print, which should show the last storage injection of the season as GWDDs only modestly ticked up last week.

natural gas commodity weather

Many traders will look past tomorrow's injection as they prepare for what could be a withdrawal approaching triple digits next week. Yet tomorrow's injection may be the first clue we get of whether a triple digit withdrawal may be in play, though we note the market has markedly tightened this week on significant cold. This has helped power burns increase quite a bit today compared to past years.

natural gas commodity weather

While the gas market continues to whip around, one thing that is clear: volatility is here to stay. In all our reports we run through the latest catalysts driving the natural gas market; be it shifting balances, an H/J spread blowout, producers hedging, or (perhaps most importantly right about now) weather. To always be in the know about the natural gas market, try out a 10-day free trial here.