Natural gas prices made a comeback last week– 11-15 April

The natural gas market doesn’t seen to have a clear direction: after natural gas prices fell precipitately for most of the week of April 4th to April 8th; during last week, natural gas prices made a comeback and rose to bounce back to a similar level they were back on April 4th. Thus, the Henry Hub future (May delivery) shed from its value price during April (up to date) just 3.7%, and spot price fell by only 2.8%; the week ended with the Henry Hub future and spot prices equal.

Let’s review the main changes in natural gas prices for the week ending on April 15th:

Natural gas spot and future prices – Review and Analysis


table natural gas spot price Henry Hub - 11-15 April 2011

The Nymex Henry Hub Future Price (May delivery) rose by 2.24% during the week, but its average price was 0.04% below last week’s average price.

Natural gas spot price (Henry Hub) also increased from beginning to end of the week by 3.7% and reached 4.20$/mmbtu on Friday; Its average daily change was 0.73%, and its weekly average was 0.87% below the previous week’s average price.

The Backwardation (the spread between the future and spot prices, i.e. future minus spot, in which the spot prices are higher than the future prices) for Henry Hub fluctuated throughout the week ranging from 0.09 to 0; at the end of the week the gap closed to zero.

See here for an explanation for the recent trend in natural gas prices during last week.

Natural gas price charts

The following chart shows the daily changes of natural gas spot price (Henry Hub) and futures price (Nymex Henry Hub) in $/mmbtu during the week of April 11-15.


natural gas price Henry Hub chart - 11-15 April 2011

The chart shows the clear upward trend of these prices during last week.

The second graph shows the natural gas spot price (Henry Hub) and futures price (Nymex Henry Hub) daily percent change (the changes around the weekly trend). It shows how the spot and future prices fluctuated over the week, but for most of the days there were positive percent changes.

natural gas SPOT price chart - percent change Henry Hub 11-15 April 2011

Natural gas storage, consumption and production – highlights:

Here are the main highlights of the recent EIA weekly report on natural gas and regarding the week ending on April 8th: The underground natural gas storage (Billion Cubic Feet) increased by 1.8%, i.e. an injection of 28 Bcf, as the total storage reached 1,607 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states; the natural gas storage was 10 Bcf above the 5-year average.

U.S. natural gas consumption was only 58.2 Bcf per day, and the residential and commercial sectors’ consumption reached 20.4 Bcf per day as it fell during last week by 21% compared to the previous week’s average consumption. This movement is partly due to the warmer weather in the Northeast.

The chart below presents the total natural gas storage (weekly figures) and Henry Hub spot price fluctuations during 2011 up to date:


Natural gas spot price (Henry Hub Natural Gas storage 2011 April 8

In total, natural gas storage rose, and natural gas imports, consumption and production declined during the week ending on April 8th.



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