Natural Gas Report: Warmer Temps Push Natgas Higher

August 22, 2013 11:15 AM

September 13 natural gas opened today at $3.47 and hit resistance at the July 29 high of $3.543, fading slightly through the afternoon to end the day at $3.541.

We have advised filling natgas, LP and farm diesel needs now. Word comes today from Iowa Secretary of Ag that prices for all three have since spiked in Iowa and we expect the story is the same across the Midwest. If prices have not yet run up in your area, they will. Look to fill Farm Diesel, LP and Natgas while you can still capture what's left of the summer savings.

Prices --

According to EIA, Natural gas hub prices increased in most areas during the report week (Wednesday, August 14, to Wednesday, August 21). The Henry Hub spot price closed yesterday at $3.51 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu), up 15 cents from $3.36 the previous week.

At the Nymex, futures prices also increased over the week. The near-month contract (September 2013) rose from $3.342 per MMBtu to $3.460 per MMBtu yesterday.

Consumption --

Consumption in all sectors declined during the report week, according to Bentek estimates. Total consumption decreased by 4.5% from the previous week. For the week, the power sector fell most noticeably by 8.4%.

Driven by low power burn during the first four days of the report week, total weekly power burn in the Northeast, Southeast, and Texas decreased by 8.5%, 19.3%, and 14.3%, respectively, likely in response to cooler temperatures in these regions from the previous week. Power burn in the Rockies and the Southwest increased by 9.3% and 17.1%, respectively, because of warmer temperatures, EIA said.

Storage --

Working natural gas in storage increased to 3,063 Bcf as of Friday, August 16, according to EIA's WNGSR. The 57-Bcf gain in storage levels was significantly higher than the 47-Bcf injection that occurred during the same week in 2012, but was in line with the 5-year average increase of 56 Bcf. Current inventories are 245 Bcf (7.4%) less than last year at this time and 44 Bcf (1.5%) above the 5-year average of 3,019 Bcf.

The net injection was smaller than market expectations, which on average were reported to be around 68 Bcf.

Near normal temperatures during the storage report week supported this week's close-to-average net injection. Temperatures in the Lower 48 states averaged 1.4 degrees cooler than the 30-year normal temperature and 2.9 degrees cooler than the same period last year, and averaged 73.0 degrees for the week, compared to the 30-year normal of 74.4 degrees and 75.9 degrees last year, EIA said.

 Data and partial text provided by EIA.

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