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Heating Degree Days to Fall by 15%: What’s the Impact on Prices?

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Warm winter

During this winter season, we’ve seen warmer temperatures than last year in most of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. In the West region, temperatures have been somewhat colder than forecasts and colder than temperatures in last year’s mild winter. The US average temperature during this winter season is anticipated to be around 15% warmer than last year’s average.

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Region-wise heating degree days

According to the EIA’s (U.S. Energy Information Administration) forecasts, the number of heating degree days for the Northeast region this winter is expected to be 4,494, which is about 20% lower than last year’s figure. The heating degree days in the Midwest and South regions are also expected to decline by 19.2% and 20.8%, respectively, but the heating degree days in the West region are expected to increase by 14.5% this winter.

The US average number of heating degree days is expected to fall by 14.8% compared to last winter. The drop in heating degree days represents above-normal temperatures. The warm weather lowers heating fuel usage, which lowers the price of heating fuels. The long-term supply glut in the global crude oil markets has already led to the fall of liquid and gas fuels prices. The decrease in the consumption has a negative impact on refineries and producers of heating fuels such as HollyFrontier (HFC), ExxonMobil (XOM), Valero Energy (VLO), Western Refining (WNR), and Marathon Petroleum (MPC).

ExxonMobil (XOM) accounts for 26.3% of the Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE).

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