28 Aug

Why US Natural Gas Futures Fell before Expiry

WRITTEN BY Gordon Kristopher

Natural gas futures 

September US natural gas (UNG) (GASL) futures contracts fell 1.7% to $2.89 per MMBtu (million British thermal units) on August 25, 2017. September natural gas futures contracts will expire on August 29, 2017. The most active October natural gas futures contracts fell 2% to $2.92 per MMBtu on August 25, 2017. Prices fell due to an expectation of weak demand due to Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf Coast region. The hurricane could bring more rain. It could lead to cooler-than-normal weather for the next few days. However, US natural gas prices are near a three-week high due to a less-than-expected rise in natural gas inventories on August 11–18, 2017, warm weather, and bargain buying.

Why US Natural Gas Futures Fell before Expiry

Higher natural gas (FCG) (BOIL) prices have a positive impact on natural gas producers. The top energy companies’ returns by volume (or shares traded) on August 25, 2017, are mentioned below:

  • ExxonMobil (XOM) rose 0.5% to 76.72.
  • Chevron (CVX) rose 0.7% to 108.23.
  • Schlumberger (SLB) rose 1.6% to 63.88.
  • Valero Energy (VLO) rose 0.34% to $67.67.
  • Halliburton (HAL) rose 0.6% to 39. 

Highs and lows 

US natural gas active futures hit $3.99 per MMBtu on December 28, 2016—the highest level in almost three years. In contrast, prices hit $1.68 per MMBtu on March 4, 2016—the lowest level in 17 years.

Drivers next week 

US natural gas (UGAZ) (DGAZ) futures could feel the heat in the coming weeks due to an expectation of mild weather, a rise in supplies, and weak demand. 

Series overview 

In this series, we’ll cover US natural gas inventories, natural gas rig counts, US natural gas production and consumption, and some natural gas price forecasts.

In the next part of this series, we’ll analyze US weather forecasts.

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