Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Natural Gas Import and Export Trend

Last week's release of the EIA Natural Gas Monthly - November indicated little change in the continuing trend toward a positive trade balance in natural gas.  At a high level:
  • Net imports from Canada were up about 0.65 BCFD over last November.  These will be up substantially more in DEC, JAN, and FEB, but that increase will quickly reverse in the spring and summer.  Canada does not have enough gas in storage to maintain these rates of export.
  • Exports to Mexico were barely up, just 0.06 BCFD on year-ago  volumes, to 1.7 BCFD.
  • LNG imports finally fell to absolute zero, albeit from small level over the last year.

It may not be long at all before the gas trade balance hits parity.  Mexican exports are expected to grow through the year to levels around 0.5 BCFD above '13.  With those exports approaching 2.5 BCFD, and Canadian imports falling to between 3 and 3.5 BCFD, the balance may be less than -1 BCFD by mid-summer.  Not something anyone would have believed five years ago.  We are not quite there yet.  As of NOV 13: