The February 2022 NYMEX natural gas contract saw record levels of volatility that will have a direct impact on costs for customers in variable agreements.
In the minutes before the market closed, when the price for February gas was to be permanently set, prices increased more than 50% in just 13 minutes. After seeing prices linger near $4.60/MMBtu for most of the day, last-minute buying resulted in prices jumping to $7.34/MMBtu by 2:13 pm Eastern time, the largest single-day move in the history of the market.
The following moments saw prices decline as the buying ebbed, but the damage was done, and the final settlement price, based on the last 30 minutes of trading, was set at a staggering $6.26/MMBtu.
Customers with natural gas contracts tied to monthly settlement prices will see this activity reflected on their invoices for February 2022 consumption and should set budget expectations accordingly.