The best thing that can be said of natural gas pricing is the oversold status of the market. The demand track is still suspect and the supply side of the equation just doesn't seem to offer up anything overly significant. While the natural gas market might garner some support from the approach of a hurricane to the coast of Florida, the track of that storm would ultimately seem to be bearish for natural gas prices. Some traders hope that the Libyan situation will weigh on crude oil prices and that in turn might prompt some long crude/short natural gas spreads to be lifted, but other than simple technical short covering action, the fundamental case in natural gas still doesn't seem to point to a change in the mid August pattern of declines. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of August 16th for Natural Gas showed Non-Commercial traders were net short 174,666 contracts, an increase of 1,240 contracts. The Commercial traders were net long 143,088 contracts, an increase of 1,332 contracts. The Non-reportable traders were net long 31,579 contracts, a decrease of 90 contracts. Non-Commercial and Non-reportable combined traders held a net short position of 143,087 contracts. This represents an increase of 1,330 contracts in the net short position held by these traders.
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