The natural gas NYMEX settlement for January 2022 expired yesterday, Wednesday, December 29, 2021, at $4.024/MMBtu.
The volatility in the natural gas and electric market continues. As of yesterday, the natural gas market was down approximately 10% versus the start of prior winters where we did not experience these mild winter temperatures and lower heating demand. However, when you look at 2021 as a whole, natural gas is up 60%. There are several reasons for this steep increase (i.e. lower production especially during hurricane season, stronger LNG exports globally, inflation, etc.) The January 2022 settlement price also went down $1.423/MMBtu from last month’s settlement price of $5.447/MMBtu. The market has also backed off of its October 5, 2021 high of $6.312/MMBtu. The January 2022 settlement price is the highest January settlement price since 2014, which was $4.407/MMBtu. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), working natural gas storage was 3,226 Bcf as of Friday, December 24, 2021, which is within the five-year historical range. This is a net decrease of 136 Bcf from the previous week, 250 Bcf from this time last year and 19 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,207Bcf. The February 2022 natural gas futures are currently trading at $3.561/MMBtu as of this afternoon.
Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to monitor to the energy market.