Natural Gas News: Will Strong Production Lead to Further Declines?

James Hyerczyk
Updated: Jun 23, 2024, 05:55 GMT+00:00

Key Points:

  • U.S. natural gas prices drop over 6% as increased production and weather patterns drive market sentiment.
  • Rising production from the Appalachian region offsets the impact of extreme heat, driving natural gas prices lower.
  • Tropical storm potential for cooling rains and LNG disruptions adds complexity to an already bearish market outlook.
Natural Gas News

In this article:

Natural Gas Prices Decline Amidst Rising Production and Weather Concerns

U.S. natural gas prices experienced a significant drop last week, falling over 6% as increased production and shifting weather patterns drove market sentiment.

Last week, Natural Gas futures settled at $2.705, down $0.176 or -6.11%.

Weekly Natural Gas

Rising Production and Impact on Storage

Natural gas futures continued their decline, with prices falling for the fifth time in six sessions by Thursday. This drop was driven by robust production levels, notably from the Appalachian region, which offset the impact of extreme heat across much of the United States. The latest EIA report showed that working gas in storage reached 3,045 Bcf, 561 Bcf above the five-year average, indicating ample supply despite high demand from power generation.

Weather Influences and Trading Patterns

While excessive heat across the Midwest and East boosted spot prices due to increased cooling demand, futures struggled under the weight of rising production. High-pressure systems dominating the southern and eastern U.S. led to temperatures in the upper 80s to 100s, but traders noted that the market had already priced in these conditions. The prospect of cooler temperatures in Texas due to a tropical storm further pressured prices.

Impact of Tropical Storms

The potential for cooling rains from a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico added a layer of complexity. Such weather events typically reduce demand by lowering temperatures and can disrupt LNG export operations. This uncertainty contributed to the bearish sentiment as traders remained cautious.

Natural gas remains the backbone of U.S. power generation, expected to provide 42% of electricity this year. Increased demand from data centers and higher overall power usage due to warmer temperatures has driven year-to-date natural gas-fired electricity generation to over 30 million MWh, the highest since at least 2021. Despite this, the market’s focus on supply pressures has kept prices in check.

Market Forecast

Given the current environment of strong production and the mitigating impact of weather forecasts, the short-term outlook for natural gas remains bearish. While the ongoing heatwave and potential for tropical storm disruptions could offer temporary price support, the overall sentiment is one of caution. Traders should monitor the 10-15 day weather forecasts and storage reports closely, as these factors will play critical roles in shaping price movements in the coming weeks.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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