U.S. natural gas prices rose 4.0 percent yesterday, reaching a new high in more than seven years.
The one-month gas futures contract closed yesterday at $5.47 per million BTUs, accumulating in the past three weeks an increase of 39 percent, Bloomberg data showed.
Measured in value, from August 25 until yesterday, the price of U.S. gas futures accumulated a rise of $ 1.53, reaching its highest level since January 29, 2014, when it traded at $ 5.56.
Jaime Saldaña, founding partner of JS Strategy and Business Consulting, warned that the increase in the price of U.S. gas will put upward pressure on the cost of electricity generation in Mexico, so it is expected to increase their rates, although not immediately.
"This will continue to pressure the market in such a way that prices (of electricity) will react upward," he said.
Patricio Gamboa, partner at Energy Intelligence, agreed and said that in the wholesale electricity market, in which private generators participate and there is competition, energy prices are already reflecting increases in natural gas and increased demand for electricity.
At the same time, said other analysts, the price of gas in Mexico itself will tend to rise, although ultimately this depends on the coverage that have the distribution companies.
The reason that costs are pressured in Mexico, both light and the hydrocarbon itself, is that the country imports from the United States 60 percent of the natural gas it consumes.
The increase in gas prices in the U.S. is due to a combination of factors: low inventories, increased demand with the industrial recovery and the approach of winter.
"Everything is fear in the market due to storage levels, which are considered insufficient for the case of a very cold winter," said in a note Bespoke Weather Services.
The latest report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that in the week ended Sept. 3, gas inventories were at levels of 2.923 trillion cubic feet, 17.1 percent lower than a year ago and 13.2 percent lower than the five-year average.
On the other hand, the EIA said yesterday that the price of propane gas in Mont Belvieu, Texas, (reference for the price of LPG in Mexico), also recorded the highest average weekly price since 2014.
In fact, in the last year propane presented a 120 percent rise, going from $0.51 per gallon in the week ending September 11, 2020 to $1.12 in the week ending September 10, 2021.
"Prices have increased ... due to high international demand and lower global propane supply," the EIA said in its report.
The price of U.S. natural gas has risen significantly in the last three weeks, accumulating a 39 percent increase.
(US natural gas futures quote, in dollars per million BTUs).