Gas Trading: Limited Demand Expected Amid Weather Forecast
Natural gas prices experience pressure on Tuesday as Memorial Day weekend brings no significant changes in the market’s fundamentals. The short-term weather forecast predicts limited demand for natural gas, with pleasant temperatures prevailing across most of the United States.
Following the holiday weekend, natural gas opens the week at a trading price of $2.2015, down $0.0005 or -0.02%. The United States Natural Gas Fund ETF (UNG) settled at $6.64 on Friday, marking a decline of $0.12 or -1.85%.
Traders anticipate the continuation of unfavorable weather patterns, contributing to the expected low demand for natural gas in the first week of June. With localized areas experiencing limited high temperatures in the 90s, the majority of the United States is forecasted to have pleasant temperatures in the 70s and 80s. This weather pattern results in light to very light national demand for natural gas.
Weather Forecast Points to Gas Market Challenges
The upcoming period from May 26 to July 1 will feature an active weather pattern across the country. A great deal of upcoming showers and thunderstorms might become a real bummer for the industry. Temperatures during this period are predicted to range from the 60s to 80s. Further, it may contribute to light national demand, except in the hotter regions of the Southwest deserts and South Texas. However, cooler temperatures in the Great Lakes and Northeast regions, with overnight lows in the upper 30s and 40s, may lead to a slight increase in heating demand.
According to the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report, the estimated amount of working gas in storage as of Friday, May 19, 2023, stood at 2,336 Bcf. This represents a net increase of 96 Bcf compared to the previous week. Stocks are 529 Bcf higher than last year at the same time and 340 Bcf above the five-year average of 1,996 Bcf. The current natural gas investing level of 2,336 Bcf falls within the five-year historical range.
Natural Gas Trend Continues Bearish, Showing Potential for Downside
In other news, the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline, valued at $6.6 billion, may receive federal approval as part of a budget deal aimed at resolving the debt limit crisis in the United States. Equitrans Midstream Corp, the owner of the pipeline, faces delays due to unfavorable court rulings and opposition from environmental groups. The proposed legislation includes expedited federal permits and limited judicial review to streamline the project’s approval process. However, further reviews and potential legal challenges may still cause delays.
From a technical and fundamental analysis standpoint, the natural gas price prediction for tomorrow continues to exhibit a bearish trend. Today’s early weakness further confirms this assessment. Unless there is a significant shift in demand, favorable weather conditions and rising production may continue to weigh down the market.