Do natural gas prices rise in colder months?

December 07, 2018

Natural gas is used to heat homes and businesses and to generate electricity. Prices for imported natural gas fluctuate during the year and usually rise as temperatures get colder toward the end of autumn. In late fall 2017 and early winter 2018, prices for imported natural gas rose, increasing 25.7 percent in November 2017, 20.0 percent in December 2017, and 13.4 percent in January 2018. Afterward, import prices for natural gas mostly fell until warmer weather arrived in early summer 2018. In October 2018, prices for imported natural gas rose 24.6 percent.

One-month percent change in U.S. import prices for natural gas, not seasonally adjusted
Month Percent change

Oct 2009

17.5%

Nov 2009

27.3

Dec 2009

14.2

Jan 2010

17.7

Feb 2010

0.5

Mar 2010

-14.3

Apr 2010

-14.1

May 2010

-3.6

Jun 2010

-0.2

Jul 2010

5.1

Aug 2010

-4.9

Sep 2010

-5.9

Oct 2010

-3.5

Nov 2010

1.9

Dec 2010

10.2

Jan 2011

10.4

Feb 2011

8.7

Mar 2011

-12.8

Apr 2011

-1.1

May 2011

3.1

Jun 2011

-0.5

Jul 2011

-3.4

Aug 2011

3.0

Sep 2011

-4.2

Oct 2011

-9.6

Nov 2011

3.6

Dec 2011

-4.0

Jan 2012

-6.6

Feb 2012

-10.9

Mar 2012

-12.9

Apr 2012

-14.3

May 2012

-3.8

Jun 2012

7.9

Jul 2012

12.4

Aug 2012

5.3

Sep 2012

-0.5

Oct 2012

7.7

Nov 2012

23.4

Dec 2012

16.6

Jan 2013

-6.1

Feb 2013

-2.1

Mar 2013

-0.2

Apr 2013

15.4

May 2013

1.3

Jun 2013

-2.8

Jul 2013

-21.8

Aug 2013

-7.7

Sep 2013

-5.5

Oct 2013

11.7

Nov 2013

7.9

Dec 2013

31.2

Jan 2014

21.2

Feb 2014

22.1

Mar 2014

10.2

Apr 2014

-27.2

May 2014

-12.4

Jun 2014

-1.4

Jul 2014

0.3

Aug 2014

-12.4

Sep 2014

-2.4

Oct 2014

-1.1

Nov 2014

-2.0

Dec 2014

11.1

Jan 2015

-9.0

Feb 2015

-12.7

Mar 2015

-10.7

Apr 2015

-12.0

May 2015

-1.0

Jun 2015

1.9

Jul 2015

-1.7

Aug 2015

0.4

Sep 2015

6.6

Oct 2015

-3.6

Nov 2015

-4.7

Dec 2015

-7.5

Jan 2016

0.0

Feb 2016

-6.6

Mar 2016

-20.0

Apr 2016

4.3

May 2016

-1.3

Jun 2016

-5.3

Jul 2016

28.0

Aug 2016

10.3

Sep 2016

11.5

Oct 2016

-4.6

Nov 2016

11.0

Dec 2016

6.1

Jan 2017

11.6

Feb 2017

-10.2

Mar 2017

-13.6

Apr 2017

8.0

May 2017

-4.4

Jun 2017

-0.8

Jul 2017

-3.1

Aug 2017

-5.9

Sep 2017

-9.7

Oct 2017

-2.4

Nov 2017

25.7

Dec 2017

20.0

Jan 2018

13.4

Feb 2018

-15.6

Mar 2018

-10.4

Apr 2018

-1.9

May 2018

-24.7

Jun 2018

-5.4

Jul 2018

21.5

Aug 2018

-5.0

Sep 2018

-4.2

Oct 2018

24.6

Although prices for imported natural gas usually rise in autumn, they sometimes do not. Prices did not rise—and actually fell somewhat—in the autumn of 2011 and 2015. In those years, the supply of natural gas increased enough to meet the higher demand that came with colder temperatures. Prices for imported natural gas also have risen substantially in other seasons of some years, depending on the supply of and demand for natural gas around the world.

These data are from the International Price program. They are not seasonally adjusted. Import and export price changes may be revised in each of the 3 months after original publication. For more information, see “U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes – October 2018.” We also have more charts on import and export price trends.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Do natural gas prices rise in colder months? on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/do-natural-gas-prices-rise-in-colder-months.htm (visited December 16, 2018).

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