The United States Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNG), one of the most heavily traded natural gas exchange traded products, is off more than 32% year-to-date. While that slump may tempt some traders into thinking the commodity is due for a rebound, some analysts caution that natural gas is likely to remain downtrodden for awhile.
Around half of U.S. homes utilize natural gas for heat, driving up prices during the winter months when temperatures fall. Rising natural gas exports previously supported prices and draining the bloated stockpiles. Additionally, electricity companies are burning a record amount of gas, replacing coal demand.
“The supply curve is on the cusp of really starting to take off in response to a dry gas rig count in the U.S. that’s gone from 80 rigs to 189 rigs in the last 12 months,” Robert Raymond said in an interview with CNBC. “People are underestimating how much associated natural gas is really going to come out of a lot of the ‘oil shale wells’ as well.”