To sum up, the supply/demand balance should theoretically lead to prices easing off relative to last summer and to the winter of 2021–2022. In practice, however, prices are easing, but not as much as expected.
Of course, weather is also playing a role. Colder temperatures in mid-November and the temporary production slowdown forecast by the EIA combined to drive up prices, reflecting market nervousness despite market fundamentals and replenished stocks. Forecasts of a La Niña winter for the third year in a row are also fueling market jitters.
As we know, colder November temperatures make for increased consumption that can increase storage withdrawals and accelerate recourse to other procurement tools. Although more seasonal temperatures have since returned, the signal of a more cautious or nervous market is now out there.