Natural Gas Futures Market News and Commentary
July Nymex natural gas (NGN19) on Tuesday closed up by +0.005 (+0.22%). Nat-gas prices erased early losses Tuesday and closed slightly higher after forecaster Maxar Weather said temperatures will be above normal from the Great Lakes to parts of the Northeast through July 4. Nat-gas prices had opened lower Tuesday after the Weather Company forecast normal seasonal temperatures across the contiguous U.S. during July 5-9. Funds hold a large net-short position in nat-gas that could provide fuel for short-covering. Last Friday's CFTC data showed that funds boosted their net-short positions by 32,020 contracts in the week ended June 18 to a 3-year high of 88,038 contracts. This Thursday’s weekly EIA nat-gas inventory report is expected to climb 102 bcf, above the 5-year average of 70 bcf and the 13th consecutive week that U.S. nat gas inventories will have risen by more than their 5-year average. Jul nat-gas last Thursday plunged to a new 3-year nearest-futures low on the larger-than-expected build in weekly EIA nat-gas inventories of +115 bcf, higher than expectations of 105 bcf and above the 5-year average of 84 bcf. That marked the 12th consecutive week that U.S. nat gas inventories rose by more than their 5-year average. Strong U.S. nat-gas output remains bearish for nat-gas prices as Tuesday's data showed that U.S. lower 48-state nat-gas production rose +8.5% y/y at 86.231 bcf. Last Thursday's EIA data showed that U.S. nat-gas supplies stood at a 4-3/4 month high of 2.203 bcf as of June 14, up +9.7% y/y but -8.3% below the 5-year average.