Last Friday marked the 31st day since the solstice. Historically, this is when we see the coldest temperatures of the season in the Northern Hemisphere. In this vein, Mother Nature is coming through for heating BTU bulls.
For instance, for our home market here in Philly, temperatures for this week are forecasted to averaged 27.7°F (-2.4°C) or 23% below normal for January. Out in Chicago, the largest space-heating market for natural gas, temperatures through the first three weeks of January are averaging 20°F (-6.7°C) or 9% below normal. With 16 inches of snow on the ground in Central Park, New York City has already hit its monthly norm with more snow on the way tomorrow.
Finally, in Florida, the largest market for petroleum-fired electricity generation, heating degree days in the state’s largest city, Jacksonville, are running 34% above normal.
Meanwhile, according to Friday’s update from the CFTC, as of last Tuesday money managers upped their bearish bets on gas by 23%! Since then, spot Nymex gas has rallied from a low of $4.432 to Friday’s $4.776 high print (+8%).