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Jonathan Lee Senior Energy Market Intelligence Manager at ENGIE Impact
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Natural Gas
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Market Commentary | Week Ending 5/26/2023

Natural gas retreats as traders await the arrival of summer heat.

Monday 5/22

The Jun-2023 NYMEX natural gas contract fell 18.5 cents lower to $2.400 per MMBtu as national demand was expected to remain at light levels through the first week of June with comfortable highs in the 60s to 80s for much of the country. The Jun-2023 WTI crude oil contract closed and expired 44 cents higher at $71.99 per barrel amid lingering tensions between Iraq and Turkey after the ICC ruled Baghdad was due $1.5 billion in damages for unauthorized exports. Equity markets were mixed during the day on debt ceiling concerns with President Biden and Speaker McCarthy due to meet.

Tuesday 5/23

Natural gas settled 7.9 cents lower at $2.321 amid a lack of strong cooling demand and as early estimates for the week’s storage report topped 100 Bcf. The new prompt Jul-2023 WTI crude oil contract climbed 86 cents higher to $72.91 after Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman suggested OPEC’s next meeting could produce a bullish result. Stocks retreated after Treasury Secretary Yellen delivered another warning over the debt ceiling amid ongoing talks.

Wednesday 5/24

Natural gas rebounded 7.7 cents to end the day at $2.398 ahead of Thursday’s storage report even though it was expected to show a large injection. Crude pressed $1.43 higher to $74.34 after the EIA reported a large 12.5-millionbarrel decline in oil inventories. Equities continued to slide after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s recent meeting showed uncertainty over further rate hikes.

Thursday 5/25

The cost of gas fell 9.1 cents to $2.307 even after the EIA reported a lighter-than-expected 96 Bcf injection into storage, which was on par with the 5-year average. Oil prices tumbled $2.51 lower to $71.83 after Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak downplayed the possibility of further OPEC+ production cuts. Equity markets finished near the unchanged mark on intensified debt ceiling talks after Fitch Ratings issued a warning on U.S. credit.

Friday 5/26

The Jun-2023 NYMEX natural gas contract closed and expired 12.6 cents lower at $2.181 as production topped 101 Bcf per day the prior week and as cooler-thannormal temperatures were forecast for the southern U.S. Crude gained 84 cents to settle at $72.67 on hopes of higher fuel demand in the U.S. as summer travel season approached. Equities bounced higher on reports the White House and House Republicans were nearing a deal on raising the debt ceiling.

Looking Ahead

Prices will likely continue to trade mostly sideways until summer heat enters the weather forecast.

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