It’s hard to get overly excited about natural gas when inventories are 22% above their five-year average and 31% above last year’s levels, and the gap between current inventories and historical averages has been rising steadily throughout the year. However, while the fundamentals aren’t necessarily attractive, the historical relationship between the price of natural gas and oil is nearing record extremes.
With oil nearing 70 and natural gas below four, the current ratio between the two commodities is now over 18. Following prior periods when the ratio went above 18, while natural gas hasn’t always rallied, it has always outperformed oil. Additionally, as we near the end of the second quarter, natural gas is entering what has historically been its best quarter of the year. As shown in the chart below, the commodity's average return (using the front month futures contract) during the third quarter of the year has been 12.95% with positive returns 63% of the time.
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