Winter Market Outlook
In 2016 we have seen natural gas hit record lows due to a huge surplus of supply. But with stronger demand and declined production (Summer 2016), it’s helped to balance out the market and bring equilibrium to the price. Winter natural gas prices are in the $2.50 – $3 range. The calendar 2018-2020 Nymex strip price is holding steady at near $3.00.
A few factors could impact natural gas prices this winter, including:
-Colder than Average temperatures projected in the East and Upper Midwest
-Winter warmth in some areas of the country feeling the leftovers from El Nino
– Natural gas storage fields at nearly 4 Tcf (36% under the five-year average)
Calendar 2017 – 2020 forward power prices in the Northeast are only 5% above all-time lows; prices in California and the Midwest (MISO) are at 8% above all-time lows. Calendar 2017 prices have rallied due to the winter months, but we see flattening in prices further out in the future.
NOAA issued it’s U.S. Winter Outlook, which predicts a La Nina pattern. Which means that the winter is likely to be colder and wetter than normal for the northern part of the country, from Montana to Michigan and the Great Lakes region, and warmer and drier for the southern U.S.