We started the the week off with a burst of cold weather, and a spike in natural gas prices. Many of the headlines touted a possible market bottom as we witnessed the first markedly cold weather in Texas. But Tuesday saw the market lose it’s momentum, with natural gas closing down 8.4 cents at $4.53 per mmbtu.
It’s amazing how quickly market sentiment changes although the fundamentals remain unchanged. We are still brimming with a glut of natural gas, and the chances of a significant rebound in prices would require that we not only have a severe winter, but that we see a reversal of the demand destruction brought on by the recession. As winter sets in it appears more and more likely that we may actually go through the winter of 2009 with a $4 handle at the Nymex Henry Hub. This would have been unthinkable just a year ago.
For those businesses that have the credit and ability to lock in electricity or natural gas prices now (for the calendar year 2010 and beyond), this may very well be the perfect time to take advantage of an extremely soft market. Only time will tell if we have hit the bottom, or if there is still further to go.