Thus far, the shoulder season between summer electric power demand and winter heating demand has seen a series of very large builds driven by mild weather and high production. Last year, which also saw historically strong builds during the first two weeks of October, witnessed 183 Bcf of net injections. The 5-year average build for the first two weeks of the month is just 130 Bcf. This year, roughly 215 Bcf has been added to storage, a 41 percent increase over the average. Three of the last four weeks have seen triple digit builds.
Temperatures during the week ending Thursday, October 13 averaged 63.1 degrees, 4.1 degrees warmer than normal and 0.7 degrees warmer than last year (see Temperature Maps and Data). Temperatures were above average in every region except for the Mountain Region. Weather was generally mild with the warmest region, the West South Central, averaging 72.7 degrees and every region but the Mountain and New England Regions averaging at least 60 degrees. Heating degree-days were 49 percent below average for the week while cooling degree-days were just 7 percent above average.
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CFTC Finalizes Position Limits Rules. On Tuesday, October 18, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) passed regulations on position limits for futures and swaps by a 3-2 vote. The regulations established limits on speculative positions in 28 commodities, including NYMEX Henry Hub Natural Gas, NYMEX Light Sweet Crude Oil, NYMEX New York Harbor Gasoline Blendstock, and NYMEX New York Harbor Heating Oil. The rule was implemented in response to the October 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which requires the CFTC to establish speculative position limits.
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