Anybody have an idea why the jump in NG prices in the last week?
Most likely the "heat" vortex that had been blanketing the East has finally weakened. NG demand should be up to counter the snowy/wet soaking in many places that folks are dealing with to cope. So a drastic change in demand/usage. There now are some weather forecasts for a colder than normal upcoming couple of months. The NG price uptrend would kick even higher if a "polar vortex" parked over the high-usage areas in the East.
Also, to spitball with no firm data, maybe the gas in storage is more costly than the dirt cheap futures or spot market prices. So a NG broker might save money by buying off the un-stored hub market as opposed to the more expensive storage, if not locked into a long-term contract. If a pro knows the truth, feel free to post. But it would seem that there's a cost to storage, and a good bit of NG in storage was bought at higher prices.
Lastly, maybe the speculators are becoming aware that fracked wells deplete quickly, so at some point the production, per recent low rig counts on the drilling, could dramatically reduce the supply. But it's a question of when, not if.
Don't overlook institutional investors doing their accumulation/distribution routine.
Jesse, Happy New Year,
Good answer. It will be interesting to see what others add.
I sure don't have a professional sounding answer, but I do know that $2.35 looks a lot better than $1.85. That being said, I have lost faith in all of the "shale depletion lower rig count colder forecast fixen' to export bound to rebound soon" answers. There's just too much of it around and doesn't seem to be much increase in demand for it. Lots of folks that a few years ago thought they had a good job for life are now staring at some pretty scary things coming right at them.