Natural gas prices soared Wednesday to their highest since June of 2011 in the aftermath of the winter storm Janus, which hit a large portion of the United States, hitting the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic very hard and even extended down the east coast as far as Georgia. The snow, coupled with extremely cold temperatures, raised demand expectations for heating fuel, pushing up natural gas. The February futures contract, for example, was at $4.71, at Wednesday’s market close, up a staggering $0.27 (6.18 percent) on the day.
The February futures contract has surged since the beginning of November – prices were as low as $3.50 on November 4, 2013 and have risen 34.57 percent in that time frame. Prices could rise even more with the Energy Information Administration releasing its weekly natural gas storage report on Thursday for the week ending January 17, 2014. In addition to the short-term increases due to weather, natural gas could see more long-lasting gains and reach $5.50 relatively soon due to fundamentals.