Natural gas prices on Monday rose nearly 10 percent as lofty hopes of an economic stimulus deal in the United States persist, an increase in LNG exports, and positive reports of President Donald Trump’s bout with the coronavirus reinvigorates the markets after traders were spooked last week.
At 1:50 p.m. EDT, natural gas spot prices were trading up $0.241 MMBtu (+9.89%) at $2.679.
While some reports suggested that colder temperatures in the MidWest were responsible for the surge in natural gas prices, NatGasWeather predicted that national demand for the fuel would be moderate on Monday and low the rest of the week due to very warm temperatures in the rest of the United States. So while demand is expected to perk up in the Great Lakes region, nationally, natural gas demand is determined to stay low for the remainder of the week.
According to the Energy Information Administration, natural gas inventories are still 405 billion cubic feet above the five-year average.
Output, however, is down, with production totaling 86.8 billion cubic feet per day for the first few days in October—down from an already four-month low in September of 87.2 billion cubic feet per day, according to Refinitiv data. Meanwhile, LNG exports have averaged 7.1 bcfd so far this month—an increase from the 5.7 bcfd that was exported last month—atypically low due to vessel disruptions in stormy Gulf ports.
Traders are now also banking on the fact that production may fall even further this week, as yet another hurricane is barreling towards the Gulf of Mexico—this time, it is Tropical Storm Delta that the market needs to keep its eye on. Delta is expected to hit between Lousiana and Florida sometime on Friday.