— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on January 4, Thursday.
In the U.S., for example, in the New York state, according to EIA, nearly 60% of households choose natural gas as the energy power to cope with winter frigid. more than 20% use heating oil while more than 10% use electricity. Therefore, when winter storms hit the area, prices of above three heating fuels go up.
For the New Year's Day, it became the coldest day of the 21st century in the 48 contiguous US states, according to a measure tracked by Commodity Weather Group. And the nat gas consumption on that day broke the historical record by 143 billion cubic feet.
Meanwhile, prices of nat gas futures reached a one-month high, surging 12% between Dec 22 and Jan 2 and creating the biggest weekly increase since Dec 2016. What's worth mentioning is that in the entire year of 2017, prices of henry hub futures tumbled by 21%, becoming the worst year since 2014.
But now, if the current winter freeze continues, boosting demand and lowering inventory. And if we are lucky to have higher-than-expected temperatures this summer, we will see nat gas doing a much better job this year.
Besides, prices of heating oil are also the recent winner. Freezing weather across the U.S East Coast has drawn a number of tankers carrying diesel and heating oil from Europe, reversing a traditional trade route. Overnight, future prices of heating oil gained additional 1.4%.
Meanwhile, electricity prices in several U.S. regions jumped to their highest in years this week. In New York, prices touched a two-year high, while in New England, next-day electricity prices jumped to their highest since March 2014.
In addition to energy futures, commodities like agriculture futures and livestock futures are also affected, as bitterly cold weather in the middle of the U.S. is threatening wheat plants and cattle battle to stay warm.
March wheat futures climbed to the highest since early December, while the February cattle contract reached a one-month high. Feeder-cattle futures touched the exchange limit during the previous trading day.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.