Advertisement
Advertisement

Natural Gas Prices Forecast: Rising Ahead of EIA Data Amid Weather Woes, Potential Australian Strikes

By:
James Hyerczyk

Weather anomalies, geopolitical tensions and EIA storage report sends ripples through the natural gas market, reshaping investor sentiment.

Natural Gas Storage

In this article:

Highlights

  • US natural gas futures near two-week peak, propelled by rising temperature forecasts.
  • Hurricane Idalia’s onslaught may dampen gas demand; over a million households at blackout risk.
  • Labor strike threats at Australia’s LNG facilities capture speculators’ attention, stirring market.
  • EIA’s report suggests a +24 Bcf build, notably less than the 5-year average, impacting outlooks.

Natural Gas Futures Respond to Weather, Strikes, and Hurricanes

US natural gas futures are drawing close to a two-week high, driven by forecasts of escalating temperatures. Speculators are also eyeing a possible labor strike in Australia’s prominent LNG production facilities. Gains could be limited, however, by concerns about Hurricane Idalia’s potential demand destruction.

EIA Report and Market Expectations

Today’s EIA report has market predictions hovering around +30-31 Bcf. Notably, the past week saw temperatures higher than usual across the US, excluding the Southwest & Northeast. A build of +24 Bcf is anticipated, a figure smaller than the five-year average. Last week, the gas in storage was noted at 3,083 Bcf, a net increase of 18 Bcf from the prior week, maintaining a margin above the historical five-year range.

Australian Strike Threats Rattle Global Markets

Chevron Corp’s two Australian LNG facilities face potential work stoppages, unsettling global gas markets. As the top LNG producer worldwide, Australia exported 80.9 million metric tons in 2022. Any disruptions here might significantly tighten the gas market, especially with Europe’s upcoming winter and a resurgence in Chinese demand.

Hurricane Idalia’s Impact on Demand

Hurricane Idalia’s Florida landfall, an alarming Category 3 storm, is expected to knock out power for over a million households, subsequently slashing gas and power demand. As of now, over 200,000 entities are powerless. Meanwhile, concerns about possible strikes in Chevron’s LNG export plants in Australia have Europe’s gas prices spiraling, with potential global price hikes if Australian supplies dwindle.

Forecast: Bullish with a Hint of Caution

Although the natural gas market showcases bullish tendencies, courtesy of weather forecasts and possible strikes, Hurricane Idalia’s immediate repercussions might dampen the demand. Additionally, Texas’s power grid appeals for conservation due to a persistent heatwave, while the US’s gas demand, inclusive of exports, is projected to decline in the following week.

Technical Analysis

4-Hour Natural Gas

Natural Gas’s current 4-hour price (2.814) is higher than the previous 4-hour close (2.788), showcasing a short-term uptrend. The price is situated above both the 200-4H moving average (2.653) and the 50-4H moving average (2.606), suggesting bullish momentum. The 14-4H RSI reading of 69.07 indicates the commodity is nearing overbought territory, signaling potential caution.

While the current price is comfortably above the main support area (2.674 to 2.636), it’s significantly below the main resistance zone (3.027 to 3.091). Thus, based on the technical indicators, the market sentiment leans bullish, but caution is advised due to the high RSI reading.

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.

Did you find this article useful?

Advertisement