Natural gas prices continue to strengthen, with gas-related exchange traded funds testing their short-term trend lines, as Americans burn through record amounts of natgas to heat up homes during the current cold snap.
On Tuesday, the United States Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNG) rose 3.0% and was testing its short-term, 50-day simple moving average while the United States 12 Month Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNL) added 2.0% as Nymex natural gas futures advanced 3.0% to $3.04 per million British thermal units.
The U.S. used up the most natural gas ever on Monday, breaking a record set during the so-called polar vortex of 2014 that blew arctic air across the eastern half of America, Bloomberg reports. American homes burned up 143 billion cubic feet of gas to fight off falling temperatures that dipped to all-time lows on New Year’s Day.
Weather forecasts show a below-normal temperature expectations for the next two weeks, which may further support natural gas prices. The U.S. National Weather Service has warned of “dangerously cold wind chills” in certain parts of the east coast and mid-west this week as a cold front continues to blanket cities from Maine to Texas, causing record-low temperatures and a spike in heating demand, TheStreet reports.
“Bitter cold wind chills continue across the Northern Plains, Great Lakes, Northeast, New England and Mid-Atlantic,” NWS said in an update on its website. “Freezing temperatures reach all the way to southern Texas and central Florida. The cold air will begin to moderate early this week. Heavy Lake Effect snow continues downwind of the Great Lakes.”
Furthermore, the cold spell is also disrupting normal supply, which may further support pricing pressure. Flows of natgas on interstate pipelines out of North Dakota fell about 1 billion cubic feet per day Tuesday, compared to about 1.3 bcf per day on December 25, Reuters reports.
“That drop is due to the freeze off we’re seeing,” Andrew Bradford of BTU Analytics, an energy consultancy, told Reuters.
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