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Natural gas rally over-done

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warmer weather forecasts. We believe that it will be difficult for natural gas prices to hold onto these gains. Natural gas rally over-done.

US natural gas is currently trading at US$2.74/MMBtu, up from US$2.00/MMBtu in May 2016 (+37%) in response to the warmer weather forecasts. We believe that it will be difficult for natural gas prices to hold onto these gains. Natural gas rally over-done.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecast of continued above-average temperatures this summer is likely to keep demand for air-conditioning elevated in the US. Natural gas provides about a third of electric power in the US. However, natural gas inventories remain elevated (more than 1 standard deviation above the 5-year average). Moreover, in recent weeks the net additions to inventories have continuously beat analyst forecasts, indicating that the warm weather has not drawn on inventories as expected.

High natural gas prices would be justified if supply for natural gas was tight, but with inventories elevated, we believe that prices should correct downwards. Although natural gas is trading at a fraction of the US$13.60/ MMBtu peak reached in 2008, production today is more than 50% higher due to fracking increasing supply and inventories. Natural gas is trading at the highest levels since May 2015.

We expect that natural gas prices will soften further as the peak summer demand period passes. Additionally, with natural gas futures currently in contango, taking a short exposure can benefit from a front month roll yield of approximately 2.3%.

Nitesh Shah, Research Analyst at ETF Securities

Nitesh is a Commodities Strategist at ETF Securities. Nitesh has 13 years of experience as an economist and strategist, covering a wide range of markets and asset classes. Prior to joining ETF Securities, Nitesh was an economist covering the European structured finance markets at Moody’s Investors Service and was a member of Moody’s global macroeconomics team. Before that he was an economist at the Pension Protection Fund and an equity strategist at Decision Economics. He started his career at HSBC Investment Bank. Nitesh holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the London School of Economics and a Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University (USA).

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