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Natural Gas Rises 1% As Weekly Supply Build Falls Short of Forecast

October 17, 2019 at 16:14 by Andrew Moran

Natural gas futures rallied as much as 1% on Thursday after the US government reported that weekly inventories rose less than what the market had called for this week. Natural gas prices have enjoyed an incredible week, poised to record one of its best weekly gains in months.

November natural gas futures rose $0.025, or 1.04%, to $2.328 per million British thermal units (btu) on Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Natural gas is on track to record a weekly jump of nearly 6%, paring its year-to-date loss to under 19%.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), domestic stockpiles climbed by 104 billion cubic feet, falling short of the median estimate of 108 billion. In total, supplies stand at 3.519 trillion cubic feet, up 494 billion cubic feet from the same time a year ago. They are also 14 billion cubic feet above the five-year average.

China announced on Thursday that it has launched a new price index for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports to showcase the changes in the market. The LNG Index was jointly developed under the supervision of the General Administration of Customs and Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange (SHPGX). It will be released every week to provide a new pricing reference for importers.

In other foreign markets, it is being reported that Iran has come across a natural gas reserve that could produce about $40 billion in revenues for the oil-rich nation. Tehran’s economy has been decimated in recent months on the heels of the US government’s sanctions on Iran following geopolitical tensions in the region.

Also, analysts say that has been an immense surge in demand in India, a key emerging market for the energy industry.

These are important developments, mainly because it shows that much of the world is either transitioning to the energy source or new producing markets could blossom.

In other energy commodities, November West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures fell $0.42, or 0.79%, to $52.94 per barrel. December Brent crude futures tumbled $0.65, or 1.09%, to $58.77 a barrel. November gasoline futures slipped $0.03, or 1.8%, to $1.59 a gallon. November heating oil futures dropped $0.035, or 1.83%, to $1.90 per gallon.

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