Thursday, June 14, 2012

Natural Gas Steals The Headlines on EIA Injection Report

Today's story in Nat Gas is all about the weekly EIA injection report which came in below all of the market expectations today sending the market into an instant short covering rally that is still underway as of this writing. The inventory injection was below the market consensus as well as below last year and the five year average for the same week.

So far the weekly injections have underperformed for the entire injection season so far. This pattern will have to continue to avoid storage from hitting maximum capacity limitations before the end of the injection season (normally around the end of November to early December). Keep in mind in the short term the market will have limited upside as rising prices will eliminate the economic advantage of Nat Gas over coal for power generation.

This switching has contributed strongly to injections underperforming for the last three months. I still view this market as trading most of the time in the $2.25 to $2.50/mmbtu trading range.

Today's EIA report was bullish from the perspective that the injection was below the consensus level and bullish when compared to last year and the five year average injection level for the same week. The EIA injection was 7 BCF below the consensus (74 BCF) and below last year's injection and below the injection level for the five year average for the same week.

The net injection of 67 BCF was less than my model forecast (70 BCF) this week and at the very low end of the range of market projections. The inventory surplus narrowed modestly versus both last year and the more normal five year average also. The current inventory level is now 666 BCF above the five year average.

Video

CNBC's Sharon Epperson discusses todays spike in natural gas prices and the day's activity in the commodities markets and looks at where crude oil and precious metals are likely headed tomorrow.


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