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Natural Gas Slumps on Smaller-Than-Expected Supply Drawdown

Natural gas futures are sliding toward the end of the trading week after the US government reported a slightly smaller-than-expected decline in domestic inventories. The latest movement in natural gas prices has stumped market analysts who have anticipated a downward trend for the energy commodity since Old Man Winter has mostly bypassed some of the biggest natural gas consumers this season.

March natural gas futures fell $0.07, or 2.59%, to $2.632 per million British thermal units (btu) at 16:30 GMT on Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Despite the drop on Thursday, natural gas prices are poised for a more than 5% gain on the week, as well as a 4% rally in January.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), domestic inventories of natural gas fell by 128 billion cubic feet for the week ending January 22. The market had forecast a decline of 136 billion cubic feet. In total, US supplies stand at 2.881 trillion cubic feet, up 78 billion cubic feet from the same time a year ago. They are also 244 billion cubic feet above the five-year average.

Natural gas prices have rebounded in recent sessions after sliding about 8% last week. The energy commodity has been impacted mostly by warmer weather trends in the US, affecting demand levels for this time of the year. But with more than a month of winter left, the temperatures are beginning to come down.

Arctic temperatures, thanks to the polar vortex, are slamming the US, Canada, and Europe, threatening a deep freeze and subzero wind chills in many parts of North America and Europe.

Is it a case of too little too late for the natural gas markets? Prices are challenging the 50-day exponential moving average as the fundamentals start to improve for the energy commodity. President Joe Biden has installed a moratorium on new drilling on federal lands, Chinese demand is projected to surge, and the weekly inventory drawdown continues to be in the range of market forecasts.

But output might still be a problem for natural gas prices. Although US producers have reduced production levels by a modest amount, they could be offset by Russia gradually raising output.

Overall, natural gas is a long-term bullish prospect because it is critical to global renewable energy initiatives.

In other energy commodities, March West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures tumbled $0.32, or 0.61%, to $52.53 per barrel. March Brent crude futures shed $0.21, or 0.38%, to $55.32 a barrel. March gasoline futures picked up $0.0064, or 0.41%, to $1.578 a gallon. March heating oil futures slumped $0.0037, or 0.23%, to $1.6039 per gallon.

If you have any questions and comments on commodities today, use the form below to reply.


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source https://www.earnforex.com/commodities/natural-gas-slumps-on-smaller-than-expected-supply-drawdown/

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