UPDATE 1-U.S. natgas eases to 1-yr low as warm weather causes worst start for year
Adds latest prices
Jan 6 (Reuters) - U.S. gas futures eased to a fresh one-year low on Friday on forecasts for warmer-than- weather and lower than usual heating demand to continue into late January.
With the contract down about 17% so far this year, the gas market had itson record, according to Refinitiv data going back to 1991, the first full year of trade for the gas futures contract.
That tops the current worst four-day start to a year of down 14% in 2006, and compares with the best four-day start of up 21% in 1997.
Low heating demand during what is usually the coldest part of the year should allow utilities to leave more gas in storage than usual this month.
Front-month gas futures NGc1 for February delivery fell 1.0 cent, or 0.3%, to settle at $3.710 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), their lowest close since Dec. 30.
Earlier on Friday, the contract dropped more than 5% to $3.52 per mmBtu, its lowest intraday price since July 2021.
For the week, the front month fell about 17%, putting it down about 44% over the past three weeks, its biggest three-week drop in history, according to Refinitiv data.
That keeps the contract in technically oversold territory, with a relative strength index (RSI) below 30 for a seventh day in a row for the first time since April 2019.
Traders said the market's biggest uncertainty remains when Freeport LNG will restart its liquefied gas (LNG) export plant in Texas.
After several delays from October to November and then to December, Freeport expects the facility to return in the, pending regulatory approvals.
Analysts have long been saying that Freeport would likely return during the first or second quarter of 2023 because the company still has a lot ofto do to satisfy federal regulators, including training staff in procedures, before restarting the plant.
Whenever Freeport returns, U.S. demand for gas will jump. The plant can turn about 2.1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of gas into LNG, which is about 2% of U.S. daily production.
Freeport shut on June 8 after a pipe failure caused an explosion due to inadequate operating and testing procedures, and human error and fatigue, according to ahired to review the incident and suggest corrective actions.
Data provider Refinitiv said average gas output in the U.S. Lower 48 states has risen to 98.2 bcfd so far in January, up from 96.7 bcfd in December but still below the monthly record of 99.9 bcfd in November 2022.
Even though the weather is expected to remain warmer than through late January, Refinitiv projected average U.S. gas demand, including exports, would jump from 110.8 bcfd this week to 121.8 bcfd week as temperatures ease ahead of what are usually the coldest weeks of the year.
In two weeks, however, Refinitiv projected gas demand would ease to 120.5 bcfd as the weather turns more mild.
Week ended Jan 6 (Forecast)
Year ago Jan 6
Five-year average Jan 6
U.S. weekly storage change (bcf):
U.S. total in storage (bcf):
U.S. total storage versus 5-year average
Global Gas Benchmark Futures ($ per mmBtu)
This Month Last Year
Prior Year Average 2022
Five Year Average (2018-2022)
Henry Hub NGc1
Title Transfer Facility (TTF) TRNLTTFMc1
Japan Korea Marker (JKM) JKMc1
Refinitiv Heating (HDD), Cooling (CDD) and Total (TDD) Degree Days
Two-Week Total Forecast
U.S. GFS HDDs
U.S. GFS CDDs
U.S. GFS TDDs
Refinitiv U.S. Weekly GFS Supply and Demand Forecasts
This Week Last Year
Five-Year Average For Month
U.S. Supply (bcfd)
U.S. Lower 48 Dry Production
U.S. Imports from Canada
U.S. LNG Imports
Total U.S. Supply
U.S. Demand (bcfd)
U.S. Exports to Canada
U.S. Exports to Mexico
U.S. LNG Exports
U.S. Power Plant
U.S. Plant Fuel
U.S. Pipe Distribution
U.S. Vehicle Fuel
Total U.S. Consumption
Total U.S. Demand
U.S. weekly power generation percent by fuel - EIA
Week ended Jan 6
Week ended Dec 30
Week ended Dec 23
Week ended Dec 16
Week ended Dec 9
SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)
Henry Hub NG-W-HH-SNL
Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL
PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL
Dominion South NG-PCN-APP-SNL
Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL
Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL
SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL
Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL
SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)
New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL
PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL
Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL
Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL
Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jan Harvey)
For Refinitiv type ENERGY in Eikon search bar and then go to the GAS drop down and the NORTH AMERICA drop down or see: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageid=usa-gas
For Interactive Map, type 'Interactive Map' in the box at upper left of the Reuters terminal.
For graphics on Baker Hughes rig counts, see: http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/15/rigcount/index.html
For -day SNL U.S. gas prices, see: 0#SNL-NG
For -day SNL U.S. power prices, see: 0#SNL-PWR
For U.S. price and storage polls, see: NGAS/POLL
For U.S. power outages, see: NUKE/
For U.S. Northwest hydro power report, see: NWRFC
For U.S./Canada gas rig count vs Henry Hub futures price, see: http://tmsnrt.rs/2eT9k44
For the U.S. gas speed guide, see: USGAS
For the U.S. power speed guide, see: USPOWER
To determine CFTC managed money position add (NYMEX Henry Hub options and futures combined 3023651MNET) plus (ICE Henry Hub options and futures combined 3023391MNET divided by four) plus (NYMEX Henry Hub swaps options and futures combined 303565BMNET divided by four) plus (NYMEX Henry Hub penultimate gas swaps 303565CMNET divided by four)
NYMEX Henry Hub options and futures combined 0#3CFTC023651
NYMEX Henry Hub futures only 0#1CFTC023651
ICE Henry Hub options and futures combined 0#3CFTC023391
NYMEX Henry Hub swaps options and futures combined 0#3CFTC03565B
NYMEX Henry Hub Penultimate gas swaps 0#3CFTC03565C