US natural gas futures rose about 2% on Tuesday amid expectations of cooler weather and higher heating demand next week than previously estimated.
Spot natural gas prices (CFDS ON NATURAL GAS) settled on a rise in early trading on Wednesday. It recorded daily losses until the moment of writing this report, by -2.22% to settle at $5.782 per million British thermal units, after rising during yesterday’s trading and for the second day respectively, by 1.83%.
US natural gas futures rose about 2% on Tuesday amid expectations of cooler weather and higher heating demand next week than previously estimated. Expectations that the Freeport LNG terminal would delay restarting its Texas LNG export plant clouded the forecasts.
Global gas markets focused heavily on Freeport news this month, as US futures rose or lost more than 5% in seven of the past 10 days, some people created fake news bulletins and posted unfounded tweets about pipe cracks in Freeport to influence the market up or down. Some traders have called on the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to investigate the flow of this misinformation.
Until late last week, Freeport had said repeatedly that the plant, which closed after an explosion on June 8, was on its way back to service in November. However, the company did not mention the November restart, or any date for the restart, in comments made on Friday or Monday.
Once the 2.1 billion cubic feet per day (BCFD) Freeport facility is back in service, US gas prices should rise due to increased demand from LNG export plants. On the flip side, the delay in the return of Freeport means less gas is available to Europe (TRNLTTFMc1) for import, a factor that helped drive prices up there by about 7% on Tuesday. Europe needs US gas because it did not get the same amount of Russian fuel as usual after sanctions were imposed on Moscow over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, pipeline operators’ data showed that eastward flows of gas on the Yamal-Europe pipeline to Poland from Germany were flat on Wednesday. Russian supplies to Europe via Ukraine slumped.
While the flow of gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that crosses the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany remained at zero. The pipeline was shut down on August 31 due to what was supposed to be three days of maintenance but not reopened. Moscow blamed the situation on Western sanctions and technical issues.
Technically, the price suffers from the continuation of negative pressure due to its trading below the simple moving average for the previous 50 days, with the stability of the relative strength indicators in highly overbought areas. This happened in light of the dominance of the bearish corrective trend in the short term and was affected by breaking a major bullish slope line in the medium term.
Therefore, our negative expectations surrounding natural gas are still valid, as we expect the price to decline during its upcoming trading, as long as the 6.412 resistance remains, to target the 5.310 pivotal support level.