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— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on November 16, 2018, Friday.
For the price of natural gas futures in the United States, recent trading sessions can be said to show a roller coaster ups and downs. On the market side, U.S. natural gas futures prices have been rising sharply since Nov. 9 last week.
It was up as much as 20 percent on Wednesday night before closing at 18 percent, which is the biggest gain since September 2004. But on Thursday night, contract prices plunged back sharply, down more than 18% after soaring.
What is the reason behind the great concussion? First of all, weather. The previous burst was triggered by a cold snap in the northern hemisphere, and forecasts for a cold winter in the United States this year have raised expectations for gas demand.
Meanwhile, natural-gas inventories revealed earlier this week fell below expectations to a 15-year low. As a result, the prospect of demand outstripping supply has pushed gas prices up more than 50 percent in recent days, before last night's plunge. However, the factors of inflation are also lie on the technical aspects of market trading. Some analysts blame gas bears for the abnormal rally. Natural gas futures trade involves very high leverage, so the surge has forced short sellers to cover their positions, triggering panic buying in the market.
And such fears are unsustainable, which is why the market plunged as much as 20 percent after gas inventory data showed a slight increase in supply overnight. But some analysts warn that the broad price rally may not be over yet，If you look at overall supply inventories, they are still about 15 per cent below the average for the last five years, and if we see continued cold weather, then demand for natural gas is likely to continue to rise, driving prices higher. At the same time, there are some voices in the market that worry about the international spillover effect caused by the fluctuation of natural gas prices in the United States, but some analysts believe that the impact on the Chinese market at least will not be too great.
That is because China has a limited imported natural gas amount from the United States. Last year, China imported about 2.312 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the United States, mainly liquefied natural gas, and accounting for nearly 4 percent of China's total LNG imports. Therefore, even if China's domestic import prices are affected by the U.S. futures price, in terms of total volume, there will not be much spillover effect.
For natural gas, global demand is likely to grow in the future. Natural gas could overtake coal as the world's second-largest energy source after oil by 2030, boosted by incentives to reduce air pollution and increased use of liquefied natural gas, the international energy agency said on Tuesday