Friday, May 24, 2019 at 4:09PM
Natural gas prices experienced some volatility this week, but other than a brief period on Monday when the June contract tested the 2.70 twice and was rejected, we remain confined to trading back and forth in the 2.55-2.65 range, and closed today almost dead in the middle of that range. We expected that this week was likely to be a battle. The supply / demand balances have remained rather weak, which has acted as a bearish force, but there is enough heat in the near term pattern to offer support as well. That near term heat allowed the June contract to exhibit the least amount of weakness in this week's trading. While forecasts have called a relaxation in the heat out in the 11-15 day, models have tended to increase heat as those days roll forward. Case in point is the 11-15 day from 5 days ago according to the GEFS. Spatially, that was not a bad forecast, but the heat definitely increased as that period rolled forward into what is today's 6-10 day outlook. These hotter trends gave quite a boost to our GWDD outlook, with well above normal demand seen for the balance of May. This has also put May on pace to feature the 4th highest GWDD total for any month of May dating back to 1981, thanks to higher HDD totals in the first half of the month, as well as the hotter trends and higher CDD levels here in the second half of the month. Now let's take a look at the current 11-15 day picture, courtesy of the GEFS model. It continues to depict broad coverage of above normal temperatures, though of lesser intensity. The question is, will it be correct this time, or is the heat going to increase again as this rolls forward in the forecast? This is an important question as we try to assess which way prices are going to break from here. What is the answer? Sign up for a 10-day free trial here to take advantage of our latest research and stay one step ahead of the market as we head into the important summer season!