Thursday, October 24, 2013

Natural Gas Storage Tealeaves for 10/24/13, Futures Down 1% on Storage Report

Front futures very weak, $3.5730 last.
From Energy Metro Desk via the CME:
By Energy Metro Desk - Thu 24 Oct 2013 07:52:18 CT

Previewing the Energy Information Administration's 10/10/13 report.

Each week, we poll 40 professional storage forecasts for our weekly Natural-Gas Storage Box Scores (as seen in each bi-weekly issue of Energy Metro Desk*). This is North America's biggest and most comprehensive natural-gas storage survey and report.
Average: +83 Bcf
Median: +83 Bcf 
Range: +76 to 91 Bcf 
Editors Forecast This Week: +85 Bcf

Natural Gas Storage Tealeaves for 10/24/13 
First off, thanks to everybody who called or wrote to us about our special Thursday Expanded Express Storage Survey last week. In light of the EIA's general lack of a report at the chosen time last week, our release of an expanded survey and report seemed to help folks muddle through the morning. As it happens, the market did fairly well. In the Tuesday EIA release of the 10/17 report, EIA noted a 77 Bcf build and our consensus forecast came in at 76 Bcf. Not too bad. The other big surveys were a bit higher averaging 78+ Bcf. 36 out of 39 forecasts last week came within 5 Bcf of the tape. For this week, one might have thought we'd see a similar figure for sure, were it not for: production shut ins in the GOM; a bump in production elsewhere; outages being up a bit; and the weather beginning to turn South. So, this week, the mid-ish 80's seems to be the CW. Our consensus this week is at 83 Bcf, which is slightly higher than all of the other surveys (Reuters at 79; Bloomie at 79; Platts at 80 and SNL at 82). We see risk to the upside this week; anything between 83 and 87 Bcf should be right on the money. We note that one of our key indicators for an EIA surprise is just a whisper away from calling it. The spread between the three categories we track came in this week at 2.8 Bcf - and we need a 3.0 Bcf spread to call it a proper surprise. So, were EIA to come in at 85-87, it would be a modest surprise, and the bias would be right.... Further down in this report you'll note that we're a bit short CME data charts. Oddly enough, we found that last year/same week the data set was so small we could only muster a single chart of any value. We note that there was virtually no market movement at 10:30 last year, however, we saw a huge move at 10:32. 10:32? Yup. And no, the report didn't come out late. Nor did some pipeline blow up at 10:31. Our commentary from last year offered little wisdom on the move: "...In the most recent report on Oct. 25, EIA came in slightly higher than the market again at 67 Bcf, while the market consensus was decent at 66.1 Bcf. Once again, it was a good showing for the market. Only one forecast didn't come in within 5 Bcf of the tape and all forecasts came within 10 Bcf of the EIA report. In pre-report commentary, we noted that a surprise to the low side was possible; we had heard a rumor that there was a reporting misfire the previous week in the East of approximately 3 Bcf. Hard to tell if that was true or not..." No mention of anything seriously out of the ordinary that might have goosed the market. Just saying. -the editor

Weather Tealeaves
                Forecast Courtesy of Meteorologist Steve Gregory
Thought of the Day: Cold, Cold, Cold (for now)

And from the EIA:

Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

for week ending October 18, 2013.   |   Released: October 24, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.   |   Next Release: October 31, 2013

Working gas in underground storage, lower 48 states Summary text CSV JSN

Historical Comparisons
billion cubic feet (Bcf)

Year ago
5-Year average
Region 10/18/13 10/11/13 change
(Bcf) % change (Bcf) % change
East 1,947   1,897   50  
2,053   -5.2   2,027   -3.9  
West 549   545   4  
530   3.6   498   10.2  
Producing 1,245   1,212   33  
1,250   -0.4   1,139   9.3  
   Salt 311   294   17  
284   9.5   198   57.1  
   Nonsalt 933   918   15  
966   -3.4   941   -0.9  
Total 3,741   3,654   87  
3,833   -2.4   3,664   2.1