A major stratospheric warming event can sometimes force very cold weather upon key natural gas heating demand areas. This is what normally happens for late February and March when the AO index goes negative. However, I have “faded” this solution to our WeatherWealth clients touting an overall bearish view in natural gas, most of this winter.
The record warm global oceans are contributing to latent heat release (evaporation and more water vapor in the Atmosphere). This is resulting in:
Improved rain chances for Argentina’s key soybean growing areas again deeper into February
Northern Brazil rainfall to rescue a coffee crop, beaten down by previous heat and dryness in December-January
A warm global outlook for natural gas regions with weakened LNG exports
In addition, El Niño has actually strengthened a bit again. The SOI index has gone the most negative of the winter due to the MJO phase, You can see here my warm forecast for the month of March from last week:
So… how do you trade natural gas, grains and other markets? After all, the CFTC Commitments of Traders report shows a large net short speculative position (managed money) in many commodities that may be bound for profit-taking. That is what we do at WeatherWealth (short and long range weather forecasts, but also specific trading strategies one cannot get from any meteorologist. For example, we told natural gas clients recently about the price comparison to the warm 2020 winter.
(chart) Natural gas prices are mimicking the warm 2020 winter. Prices are even lower than $1.60 in part due to a lack of LNG exports and warm weather in Europe as well as the US
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African dust, the Harmattan Wind, and how I called the unprecedented explosion in cocoa prices three weeks ago.
Why El Niño has strengthened recently: Potential impacts for grain prices and the Midwest summer
Why record-warm global oceans have thwarted any bull move in natural gas prices
A look at potential late February and March weather
Join farmers, traders, and investors on six continents who have benefited from a seasoned meteorologist’s 38 years of experience as he second-guesses standard computer models. What is the next big trade in Ag commodities? Is it too late to buy cocoa and go short the grains?
(Our video from last week addresses why we reversed our bullish attitude in natural gas early this past week and enumerates the implications for South American grain weather.) It’s a bit too late to sell natural gas in the hole now, especially with a potential friendly EIA number later this week.
El Niño usually brings big crops to Argentina
It is common knowledge that more than 80% of the time, El Niño brings above the normal corn and soybean yields in Argentina and southern Brazil, but can often bring dryness and reduced crops in northern Brazil. This certainly happened earlier this winter (South American summer) with drought hurting Matto Grosso soybean yields. Nevertheless, we had been in the bearish camp for weeks in soybeans due to worries over the Chinese economy and our earlier forecast that South American weather and crop conditions would improve.
Click on this image In the above video, I cover the following:
A) Why late January and February heat and dryness in Argentina is unusual during El Niño but some problems may develop from excessive heat;
B) How teleconnections such as the MJO and AO index can affect South American corn and soybean weather in February and offset typical ideal “El Niño type” weather (too wet at times for the northern Brazil soybean harvest and some potential minor issues resulting from hot and dry in Argentina);
C) How we warned clients of a top in the natural gas market by predicting a +AO index;
D) How the Red Sea tensions have helped markets such as Robusta coffee and cocoa soar. These two markets already have had tight supplies due to El Niño-related crop problems (Brazil coffee weather will continue to improve vs. some previous crop reduction issues);
E) If February is hot and dry in Argentina, this might suggest that the 1987-88 El Niño analog could hold, suggesting the potential for summer Midwest weather problems affecting corn and soybeans (right now we are not calling for this, but something to watch).
f you have not yet had a complimentary trial to WeatherWealth, please request one, and join farmers, ETF investors, and futures traders on six continents and those who just want better (more accurate) short and long-range weather forecasts, often before markets react. While past performance is not indicative of future results, calling the $1 collapse in soybeans the last 6 weeks and the recent huge weather market natural gas volatility pays for the newsletter for years in just a matter of weeks.
This video pinpoints the climatic variables responsible for the coldest U.S. weather in years. Frequent snowstorms will also occur. The good news is that some easing of the cold will occur by late January.
A negative NAO index has to do with a warm block near Greenland. (please watch my video —it explains how this is affecting commodities)
SNOWFALL PROJECTIONS NEXT 2 WEEKS (INCHES): A negative NAO will bring many areas in red and white over 1-2 feet of snow from at least 2 major storms. The most snowfall in several years
The opposite is happening over the South Pole (Antarctica), there has been a positive AAO index. This means the vortex stays put and does not move north. Combined with El Niño, this has brought improved weather for South American soybeans, something I alerted all my WeatherWealth subscribers about, three weeks ago.
Only 4 or 5 El Niño events have seen a powerful negative NAO index in January. Most of these years saw El Niño weaken by the spring or summer. Based on this scenario, this will be very important for many agricultural markets, and I will be developing trading strategies in options, futures, and ETFs.
How a negative NAO (warm block over Greenland that forces the Polar Vortex south) affects commodities:
1)Energy/Natural Gas: Coldest weather in at least 2-3 winters coming for Europe and the U.S. starting next week
2) Wheat: Isolated areas of winterkill in Russia and possibly Nebraska and big cold and snows for the southern Plains and Midwest. It will be important to monitor snowfall.
3) Cocoa: While I was bullish all summer and autumn long on major wet weather and disease issues, the lack of a Harmattan Wind in Ivory Coast and Ghana could prevent any further damage to the cocoa crop
How does a positive AAO index (The vortex that remains over Antarctica and does not move north) affect commodities?
1) Soybeans/Corn: Easing of the northern Brazil drought and potential big Argentina crops
2) Coffee: A hot November and early December likely will lower Brazil’s coffee production by several million bags, but improved rainfall is on the horizon that will stop further damage.
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This free report below was written three weeks ago before we changed the weather forecast for natural gas and energy markets)