US natural gas futures fell below $3 for the first time since May 2021, trading as low as $2.992/MMBtu on Wednesday before the February contract (NG1:COM) settled at a new 52-week low, -5.8% to $3.067/MMBtu.
Since fear that consumers could not meet their winter demand led to a 14-year high in US natgas prices to ~$10/MMBtu in August, the US and Europe have refilled their storages before winter, and the actual warming in the Northern Hemisphere has so far continued. reduce the need for heat.
A longer-than-expected shutdown of the Freeport LNG terminal due to a fire in June has prevented gas from being exported and thus raised US supplies, helping to keep prices low; the facility came close to resuming operations when the US Coast Guard determined that the hazard survey had met its requirements.
ETFs: (NYSEARCA: UNG), (UGAZF), (BOIL), (COLD), (UNL), (FCG)
Gas-focused stocks fell sharply last month: EQT (EQT) -8.6%Range Resources (RRC) -5.1%Antero Resources (AR) -14.2%Southwestern Energy (SWN) -9.7%Chesapeake Energy (CHK) -7.6%.
Although natural gas prices may be lower in the near future, the US Natural Gas ETF (UNG) “would be expected to bet today because of the ‘contango decay’ that is in the future,” writes Harrison Schwartz in a recent research note on Search Alpha.