It was indeed remarkable that the U.S. natural gas market saw the lowest prices since July last week despite Polar Vortex 2019. In particular, given that gas demand peaks in the Winter when heating and power generation needs collide, the U.S. hit an all-time record of 150 Bcf/d of consumption.
In every column I have written about natural gas for Forbes I have referred to the natgas futures contract's legendary status among energy traders. Yes, as I have mentioned before, the natgas contract is known as "the widowmaker" owing to its extraordinary volatility. That volatility has been in full force in the last three months as natgas futures jumped through $4.50/mmcf in November before moving back downward into the recent "normal" range of $3.00-$3.50/mmcf and have now taken another leg downward to sit at $2.83/mmcf as of this writing.
Natural gas futures settled higher last week, but not before producing a volatile two-sided trade. The market gapped higher and rallied early in the week then broke into the gap before reversing back to the upside. The price action was all weather driven with traders reacting to forecasts over the next two weeks calling for extreme cold then warm then extreme cold next week-end. There is also another forecast calling for the pattern to repeat the last week of January and the first week of February.