Nattie: One Fugly Widow Maker

Traders apply the term widow maker to financial investments that cause catastrophic losses or are risky enough to do so…Another famous example of a widow maker trade occurred in natural gas futures, which professional traders have long considered widow makers because of their price volatility.  – Investopedia

Jaysus (h/t CG),  U.S. natural gas (Nattie) futures are down 76.7 percent from last August’s peak.  Moreover,  European Nattie prices are down 87 percent from the highs. 

Remember the pundits predicting Europe was going the way of Pompei as the Russians cut off their natural gas supplies?  

Europe may be about to experience its first winter without Russian gas, risking even higher prices, gas shortages, and a major recession. – IMF

Not so fast. Mother nature had different plans. 

Warm weather and a sharp downward shift in demand have contributed to the fall in prices in Europe. Unseasonable warm weather in Europe – about 1°C higher than average this winter – reduced demand for natural gas used for residential heating.  At the same time, higher prices also sparked efficiency gains, lower consumption among businesses, and in some cases reduced industrial activity. In the United States, warmer weather also reduced the demand for natural gas. – World Bank

California Reamin’

It is said that everything is bigger in Texas.  We will match and raise that and tell you everything is [more] expensive in California, including Nattie. 

California imports 90 percent of its gas from other states and Canada, so it’s reliant on pipelines. But many of those pipelines were closed for unplanned maintenance in November and December, limiting supply flowing to California and other Western states… A pipeline explosion in 2021 had already reduced capacity to move gas from Texas and neighboring states, where much of California’s supply comes from.

Additionally, the past few months in California have been especially cold, creating an unusually high demand for heating…That came after a historically hot summer strained the state’s electricity grid, which is largely powered by natural gasNY Times


Thank You, Natttie 

We do owe Nattie a big debt of gratitude.  The widowmaker, after almost causing us to have a widowmaker, forced our trading book into retirement. We now sleep better at GMM.  Thank you, Nattie! 

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