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The Weekly Natural Gas Market Newsletter August 30, 2021

September 2021 NYMEX futures expired at $4.37 after posting almost a 52 cent gain for the trading week. The October 2021 contract has now taken over as the prompt month NYMEX contract and posted a 52.2 cent gain on the week.

Natural gas prices had been trading flat for most of the week but surged Thursday after the release of the weekly natural gas storage report. The report showed a "disappointing" injection for the week ending 8/20. The injection of 29 BCF was well below analyst's expectations of an injection in 40 BCF range. Storage inventories are now 16.5% below year ago levels and 6.2% below the previous 5-year average.

In addition to the miss on storage, natural gas prices received a boost from Hurricane Ida on Friday. The storm has targeted the Louisiana Gulf Coast and will make landfall on Sunday afternoon. Historically speaking, a storm like Ida would be deemed very bullish for natural gas prices and additional upside would be expected. However, with most of the natural gas production in the US coming from onshore shale, the storm is likely to end up being more of a bearish market event due to the likely demand destruction that should occur in the storm's wake.

Natural gas prices will likely trade in a very volatile fashion over the next few trading days. Knee jerk reaction buying should be avoided as the market will likely revert to levels seen in the previous week. Patience will be required for end-users needing to hedge open market exposure for October or the upcoming winter heating season.