US natural gas futures
March US natural gas futures contracts fell 0.34% to $2.62 per MMBtu (million British thermal units) on February 23, 2018. Prices hit an intraday low of $2.55 per MMBtu on February 23, 2018, which was the lowest level since February 16, 2018. The contracts will expire on February 26, 2018. April US natural gas futures contracts fell 0.7% to $2.65 per MMBtu on February 23, 2018.
The VelocityShares 3x Long Natural Gas (UGAZ) and the United States Natural Gas ETF (UNG) follow natural gas futures. UGAZ rose 1.1% to 56.03 on February 23, 2018, while UNG rose 0.3% to 22.2 on the same day.
US natural gas price performance
US natural gas futures declined on February 23, 2018, due to mild weather forecasts for the next two weeks. However, US natural gas futures increased 2.6% on February 16–23, 2018—near a two-week high. Prices could have increased because the March contract expires on February 26, 2018.
The Direxion Daily Natural Gas Related Bull 3X Shares ETF (GASL) increased 1.1% on February 16–23, 2018. GASL follows natural gas futures. The Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE) increased 1.1% on February 16–23, 2018. VDE has exposure to US upstream energy companies.
Highs and lows
US natural gas futures hit $1.63 per MMBtu on March 4, 2016—the lowest level in 17 years. In contrast, prices hit $3.99 per MMBtu on December 28, 2016—the highest level in two years.
In this series, we’ll discuss US natural gas inventories, the natural gas rig count, production and consumption, and natural gas price forecasts.