billion cubic feet (Bcf)
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Working gas in storage was 4,000 Bcf as of Friday, November 13, 2015, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 15 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 404 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 207 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,793 Bcf. At 4,000 Bcf, total working gas is above the five-year historical range.
The flurry of new entrants into the market has coincided with a 12% slide in global copper prices, a tumble that has sent copper to its lowest levels in more than six years.
Analysts at Goldman say that this type of trading pattern tends to precede a pullback in Chinese metal demand. China accounts for roughly 40% of global copper demand and is the world’s top copper buyer.
“Over the past five years, periods of rising SHFE open interest and falling metals prices have been associated with concurrent or imminent weakening in China’s commodity intensive ‘old economy’,” they said in a note to clients.
This signal has been correct on four of five occasions since mid-2011 and suggests upcoming Chinese economic data could continue to disappoint, driving copper prices even lower, they said.