Last Updated : 08 December 2012 at 13:35 IST
Coal switch threat keeps Natural Gas prices under check
Source :Barclays research
In December, unless weather patterns return to normal or become colder, there could be further downside to natural gas prices, as the y/y short fall in nuclear generation is due to more than halve in the month, lending less support to power burn.
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With supply expected to grow by about 1.4 Bcf/d y/y through the winter (Dec 2012-Mar 2013), natural gas needs to be deep within the coal stack in the Eastern power markets for the gas market to balance, assuming normal weather.
“This keeps a lid on gas prices despite tightening market fundamentals.” Barclays said in a report.
In December, unless weather patterns return to normal or become colder, there could be further downside to prices, as the y/y short fall in nuclear generation is due to more than halve in the month, lending less support to power burn.
For the final week in November, US natural gas storage withdrew about 73 Bcf, rather than the consensus of 65 Bcf, indicating the arrival of a firm demand picture.
The Eastern region took out 56 Bcf, while the West withdrew 3 Bcf. The producing region withdrew 14 Bcf. Residential and commercial demand increased drastically from last year’s level as heating degree days were 39% higher y/y.
The storage week in reference marks the end of the storage overhang, as the storage level has dipped below that seen at the same time last year.
Higher power demand also contributed to the tightening of balances as a large y/y short fall of nuclear generation (13 GW lower y/y for the week in reference) has checked the tendency of coal displacement.
Furthermore, y/y growth in production has come off significantly, indicating a decline in production growth rates. On Friday, natural gas for January delivery on the NYMEX closed at $3.542/Mmbtu.
On India's MCX, natural gas for December delivery was seen trading at Rs.193.70/mmBtu, a loss of 1.27% as of 12.20 PM IST.
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