1. Weather The heaviest demand for
natural gas is during the winter months. Colder than normal winters can increase demand for natural gas. Summers are usually
the lowest demand periods for natural gas. However, extremely hot periods during the summer can spike demand for natural gas.
Keep in mind most season demand variations are already priced into the market. (Beware
of brokerage firms that try to sell you on far out of the money call options as a sure bet.)
Hurricane Season Natural gas futures will react quickly to any tropical storms that move into the Gulf of Mexico. Most
of the natural gas operations are in and along the Gulf and they are susceptible to damage and production losses. Hurricane
Katrina is a prime example where natural gas prices rose to all-time highs due to the destruction.
Crude Oil Natural gas and crude oil prices are somewhat related because natural gas and crude oil are substitutes in
consumption and also complements, as well as rivals, in production. Another factor linking the natural gas and crude oil markets
is liquefied natural gas (LNG). Most LNG contracts are indexed on oil prices, directly linking natural gas and crude oil prices.
Consumption of LNG is expected to top consumption of natural gas delivered by pipeline in the United States by 2015.
4. Inventory Reports There are two major inventory reports that are helpful in your research and trading
of natural gas futures and options. The US Energy Information Administration Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report, and the Monthly
Underground Gas Storage Report. These reports are very closely watched by market participant to get insight into any changes
in the supply/demand environment.
These are just some of the basic fundamentals to keep
in mind when you are considering a trade in the natural gas market. Therefore, before opening up a commodity account to trade
natural gas you should consult with a licensed commodity broker that follows the natural gas market to discuss investment