Monday, 9 January 2012

Today's Agro Tips

According to our sharetipsexpert ,Natural gas prices rallied sharply on Friday, rebounding from a 28-month low, as forecasts for colder-than-normal boosted near-term demand expectations for the heating fuel.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in February settled at USD3.074 per million British thermal units by close of trade on Friday, climbing 3.5% over the week, the first weekly gain since December.

Natural gas prices surged nearly 3.15% on Friday after the U.S. Climate Prediction Center said a long-term weather pattern that has kept milder air in the eastern U.S. showed indications of breaking up, signaling colder weather could be ahead.

That pattern, known as the Arctic Oscillation, may change to a neutral or negative phase in coming weeks, according to Jon Gottschalk, head of forecast operations for the U.S. Climate Prediction Center.

When the oscillation moves to a negative phase, colder air is able to move farther south from the Arctic and linger longer over parts of the U.S.

Prices found further support after the Commodity Weather Group said temperatures across most parts of the U.S. Northeast will fall by at least 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 Celsius) below normal from January 16 to January 20.

Industry weather group MDA EarthSat offered a similar outlook, saying the U.S. Midwest, South and East Coast should get a "significant cold push of air" next week, accompanied by several days of below-average temperatures.

Natural gas futures have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks. Below-normal winter temperatures increase the need for gas-fired electricity to heat homes, boosting demand for natural gas.

Prices plunged 3.8% to a 28-month low on Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. fell by 76 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, falling short of expectations for a decline of 78 billion cubic feet.

The drawdown was also significantly lower than the 135 billion cubic feet withdrawn in the same week a year earlier. The five-year average change for the week is a decline of 106 billion cubic feet, according to U.S. Energy Department data.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.472 trillion cubic feet as of last week, up 11.4% compared to the same week a year earlier.

Gas futures typically climb during the winter months, as temperatures fall and demand for heating fueled by natural gas rises.

But mild winter weather coupled with high inventory and production levels in the U.S. have kept prices depressed near 28-month lows in recent weeks.

The front-month gas contract settled below the psychologically-key USD3.00-threshold earlier in the week, the first time it has done so in January in nearly a decade.

Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for February delivery traded at USD101.90 a barrel by close of trade on Friday, climbing 2.95% on the week, while heating oil for February delivery rallied 5.85% over the week to settle at USD3.091 per gallon by close of trade Friday.

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