Natural gas at resistance

Pavel Hála | Analyses | 1. 4. 2013

Natural gas is at $4 which was an unbreakable resistance that turned the price down last year. Actually the price broke over $4 on Wednesday but pulled back on Thursday and is hovering slightly below $4 right now. Check out our chart of most liquid May future contract:

ngk13_price

So what now? Will the last year turnaround repeat? Or is natural gas ready for the long awaited rally? Lets take a look at COT analysis. Producers positions made sharp move down and are currently near the 3 year low:

ngk13_prod

This is bearish. And managed money positions are confirming it as they broke the 3 year high:

ngk13_mony

However if we look at more relevant relative COT positions it’s obvious there were even more escalated situations in the past:

ngk13_rel

Nevertheless the COT is strongly suggesting natural gas is ready for correction. No doubt about that. But maybe you still don’t feel comfortable shorting natural gas. And it’s understandable. NG is getting a lot of media attention lately as a energy source of the future. Shell wants to build NatGas stations for trucks. Chinese company ENN Group Co Ltd is planning the same. There are also plans to build LNG terminals for shipping natural gas to Japan and elsewhere. These things will boost the demand for US natural gas.

But don’t forget the supply side of the game. Shale gas will be probably the biggest energetic and economic game changer in the first half of the 21st century. But enough talking. I have here a spreadcharts.com historical continuous price chart for Henry Hub natural gas:

ngk13_con

Yes, there is a lot of space to the upside. But when you look closely you’ll notice that NG has done 100% from its low of $2. Despite this I still think it has more upside than downside potential. Main reason is that NG has already made a large correction near $3 which is nearly 50% from last year’s peak of $4. And the established bull trend seems to be strong. Natural gas price crashed in 2008 and has been out of favor of investors ever since. I think it’s time for this to change.

So would I go long now? Well, definitely not. Main reason is the COT which sends a clear message. Because in the end nobody knows which side of the market will win. Whether demand (cheap and ecological fuel of the future) or supply (shale gas). So the hard data is what I prefer. And by the way the seasonality is also speaking for the correction. We are exactly at the time when natural gas inventories shall reverse it’s course and start rising. And that’s not good for the price at the moment.

ngs

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