Many asset classes are sensitive to seasonal trends, but perhaps none more so than commodities. With that idea in mind, natural gas exchange traded products, such as the United States Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNG) and the iPath Bloomberg Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEArca: GAZ), could be worthwhile trades this month.
Traders are anticipating the sweltering heat could raise natural-gas consumption as households and offices use more gas-powered electricity to run air-conditioning units.
The natgas market has been closely tracking weather projections in recent weeks as traders tried to price a shifting outlook on early summer electricity demand for air conditioning. Gas typically dips to a seasonal low during the spring’s mild temperatures before hot summer weather raises demand for gas-fired electricity generation.
Analysts now point out that weather updates for mid-June are showing warmer-than-expected temperatures in the southeast, which has strengthened demand expectations in the biggest region for gas-fired power.[related_stories]
“Over the last 20 years, September has been the best performing month for natural gas prices, with October being the 2nd best. So seasonality is in it’s favor right now. That said, it should be noted that the trend has broken down somewhat in the last few years,” according to See It Market.
Traders, though, should keep in mind that the summer is winding down and demand for fuel typically declines as the weather cools in the fall. Some analyst are already warning of a potentially new record high natural gas inventory levels in the months ahead.
“You will find that September and October are positive 60% and 68% percent of the time, respectively. They are also the best performing months, with average returns of 10.6% and 6.7% respectively,” according to See It Market.
One may utilize inverse or bearish ETF options to hedge bets in the coming months. For instance, the VelocityShares Daily 3x Inverse Natural Gas ETN (NYSEArca: DGAZ) seeks to provide the daily inverse 3x, or -300%, performance of the NYMEX natural gas futures. The ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Natural Gas (NYSEArca: KOLD) provides the daily inverse 2x, or -200%, performance.
For more information on the natgas market, visit our natural gas category.
United States Natural Gas Fund