Mild winter could push natgas prices below $2/mmbtu in Q1 of 2024, says BofA
Bank of America on Tuesday said thatwhile the heatwave in Texas almost halvedthe U.S. natural gas storage surplus, a mild winter could still drive stocks to records and push prices below $2 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) in the first quarter of 2024.
The bank said the storage trajectory posed downside risks to its $4 per mmBtu projection for 2024.
U.S. production was on track to rise from a record 98.1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2022 to 102.7 bcfd in 2023 and 104.9 bcfd in 2024, according to the EIA. NGA/
Soaring temperatures pushed power demand to record levels multiple times in Texas this summer, prompting small spikes in natural gas prices NGc1 in August, offsetting pressure from rising output.
Extreme heat boosts the amount of gas burned to produce power for cooling, especially in Texas, which gets most of its electricity from gas-fired plants.
On Tuesday, US natural gas futures settled at a near six-week high of $2.848 per mmBtu on a decline in daily output and a rise in supply to the country’s LNG export facilities.
However, gas inventories were still expected to finish the 2023-24 winter season near five-year highs, at 1.77 trillion cubic feet, analysts at the bank said in a note.
“If realized, this inventory path may cause Henry Hub gas to trade below our forecast of $3.50/mmbtu (4Q23/1Q24) and below the current forward curve,” the bank said.
Such a situation could also reignite the possibility of hitting storage constraints next year, it added.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Anushree Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)