US natural gas futures bottomed on Oct. 24 after a 50% haircut on warmer weather. In the last two weeks, prices have staged a rally on the prospect of cold weather and tighter supplies. Last Monday, we penned a note titled “US NatGas Spikes As Temperatures Are About To Dive Nationwide.” Now, with colder weather sweeping across the US, NatGas prices are up a staggering 49% in eleven sessions.
On Monday morning alone, NatGas futures are up 10%. Bloomberg said the move higher is weather-related, “as a winter storm hits the Pacific Northwest and frigid weather is expected across most of the country.”
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a 6-10 day temperature outlook for the lower 48 states showing that most of the country will experience below-average temperatures.
An 8-14 day temperature outlook by the weather agency also points to continued below-average temperatures for much of the US.
After an unseasonably warm end of October and the first week of November, the warm spell is forecasted to turn today. Average temperatures are expected around 58 degrees Fahrenheit and will revert to a downward sloping 30-year mean of the mid-40s by mid-month.
Colder weather indicates heating demand will rise, and so will the demand for NatGas.
The latest rally in NatGas outlines how sensitive traders are to potential cold snaps, as below-normal stockpiles and surging exports could strain domestic stockpiles in a deep freeze in the months ahead.