Polar vortexes and heavy snow are two of the most defining characteristics of the 2013-2014 winter season in the U.S. Bitter cold and harsh weather conditions have taken their toll on parts of the economy, especially when it comes to employment figures. However, when it comes to natural gas prices, the cold weather has propelled the fossil fuel higher, as incessant demand has sent NG on a tear to open up the year [for more natural gas news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Natural gas is, perhaps, one of the most cyclical commodities in the space, as its demand and usage is heavily tied to seasonality. As a result, its price cycles for the past few decades have been somewhat predictable, even though it can be quite volatile day-to-day. Both of those factors combine to make it one of the most popular commodities traded on the market. 2013, however, looks like it may be moving away from its normal trend [for more natural gas news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The summer of 2013 has been notably cooler than the scorcher that 2012 brought, but August saw the heat turned up on the U.S., having a marked impact on a number of commodities. Soybeans, in particular, have seen their prices spike, as the hot and dry weather of the last few weeks has taken its toll. The run higher could throw a wrench in the commodity’s standard cycle, making it all the more difficult to trade [for more soybeans news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As fracking continues to develop, with new reserves being discovered on a daily basis, the world has watched natural gas production surge. Though still a non-renewable resource, natural gas burns cleaner and is cheaper than crude oil. As the world looks to replace dated energy sources, natural gas figures to be an increasingly significant commodity. At the forefront of the NG movement has been the U.S., as its presence in the natural gas world has continued to skyrocket in recent years [for more natural gas news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
This summer has shaped up quite differently than the one just a year ago, throwing a wrench into a number of commodities. 2012 was the warmest calendar year in U.S. history, and the summer was especially hot. This year has been a different story, as temperatures have remained relatively low with only a few heat waves in comparison to 2012. While it may be nice to save on electric bills and still stay cool, the lower temperatures have presented natural gas with an uphill battle in a time when it usually flourishes [for more natural gas news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
After years of environmental acts dying in Congress, President Obama is taking action by finally outlining a green plan for the U.S. Calling a press event at Georgetown University earlier this week, Obama discussed his goals: reducing carbon pollution, promoting green energy, and cooperating with both developed and emerging economies to ensure global involvement. Many on the Hill have already objected to Obama’s goals and his use of executive orders to avoid Congressional approval, saying that the American worker will lose in this plan [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].