Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 5:30PM
The April natural gas contract rallied a bit over a percent today despite an EIA number that was not quite as bullish as the market consensus, as the EIA still reported a massive draw in salt cavern storage and day ahead cash prices were firm. The April contract was easily the strongest along the futures curve today. The rest of the curve barely contributed, as seen by the April/October J/V spread shooting higher on the day. Day ahead cash prices trading slightly above prompt month future prices have helped keep prompt month prices strong the last couple days as well. Meanwhile, the EIA announced that 204 bcf of natural gas was pulled from storage last week versus our estimate (that was near the market consensus) of 209 bcf. This week's storage number was seen as about in line on a weather-adjusted basis to the number last week and solidly tighter than the week before, though of course there was far more weather-driven demand last week than the week prior. Traders are now looking at how daily balances are changing ahead of the weekend as well as what next week's EIA number could indicate about the seriousness of the current storage deficit. We covered all that in our Afternoon Update while also looking at how weather forecasts could change and influence natural gas prices moving forward. Try out a 10-day free trial here to give that all a look.