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Digital Subscriptions > The Hedge Fund Journal > Issue 117 - October 2016 > Natural Gas

Natural Gas

Global markets converge after a decade apart

All examples in this report are hypothetical interpretations of situations and are used for explanation purposes only. The views in this report reflect solely those of the authors and not necessarily those of CME Group or its affiliated institutions. This report and the information herein should not be considered investment advice or the results of actual market experience.

Natural gas prices around the world, from North America to Europe to Asia, are coming together after years of drifting apart. Before the natural gas production boom in the United States in 2007, prices in top consuming regions of the world were loosely connected. There was plenty of price-spread risk, even though the secular patterns were clearly linked. However, from 2008 to 2015, regional natural gas prices became delinked and danced to the tune of their own drummer. The reasons for this were varied. In North America, growing domestic supply was the real issue. In Asia, the challenge was the shutdown of Japan’s nuclear power industry after the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Europe faced tensions amid disruptions in Ukraine that escalated risks concerning gas supplies from Russia. Also, over the years, the practice of pricing natural gas in Europe and Asia benchmarked to Brent crude oil has been eroding to the point that the link is breaking as long-term contracts expire.

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