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US loses capacity to surprise

The fourth quarter's dramatic price rise and fall is not expected to be repeated

The US benchmark Henry Hub front-month contract saw unprecedented volatility in the fourth quarter of 2018. But a combination of milder-than-average weather since November, and the prospect of production increases and infrastructure delivery in 2019, lead analysts to predict a much calmer 2019. In fact, the main risk to prices-as-usual is seen on the downside for the summer, dependent on temperatures and hence storage withdrawals for the remainder of Q1. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Nymex Henry Hub front-month futures contract had been trading in a $2.65-3.30/mn Btu range from mid-April until early November, shooting higher to a peak of over $4.70/mn Btu on 28 November. The fall i

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