It certainly appeared that tendency was at work when September rallied to close higher for five straight days from a low of $2.457 on 08/02 up to test the March high, but there has been a different tendency during ’23, to which there has been little discussion here. The only expiring monthly contract this year that has had a semblance of a rally into expiration (a trend contrary to the trend of 2021 and 2022) was July and it lost about a quarter on its final trading day. After printing the June Q2 high on 06/28 expiring July traded an “outside” day reversal to off the board at $2.603. The others either traded the low of their tenure during the last three days before expiration (January, February, March, April, and August) or fell hard from a lower high (May $2.385 to $2.101, June $2.685 – $2.143). The last week there was too much attention to the 08/09 high volume breakout through the June/July highs. Still, despite a new low daily close ($2.486, the lowest daily continuation close since $2.485 on 06/20), trading through all those weekly lows (five between $2.457 and $2.536) and briefly through the 20 – week SMA (currently $2.471) September managed to recover enough to hold the fledgling up trend defining moving average and the trend line rising from the April – May – June lows on a daily and weekly closing basis.
Over the five Fridays of prompt September’s tenure there have been four lower weekly closes. September’s net loss since Friday 07/28 is $.167/dt September giving up its premium plus $.026 at the low daily close of its tenure. It’s not like they took September and shot it. The more interesting elements are that over those same four of five losing weeks the current one – year strip is only $.008 lower. If September is $.167 lower and the strip is only $.008 lower there must be some under the radar allowing strength to occur somewhere. As it turns out, the average of November ’23 – March ’24 is $.037 higher over the same period. Seems to me that is supporting evidence for the thesis that sponsorship for deferred and distant deferred contract months is slowly gathering. For now, there is no doubt that the trading range that confined successive prompts for all of Q2 (perhaps setting up a similar range for Q3), will continue to be the primary consideration (meaning the appropriate strategy for traders to buy weakness – sell strength). Expectations are for the October to give up whatever premium is awarded when September trades its last, but it seems reasonable to point out that every time that prompt gas has traded into the mid $2.40s since the middle of June (prompt in waiting October into the mid $2.50s) the zone on either side of $2.80 has been tested.