The previous low of the Mont Belvieu, Texas, hypothetical NGL barrel for the five-day tracking period of Jan. 13-19, 2016, was 13% higher than last week’s close of $12.50. The most recent figures represent the first time that Mont Belvieu has been below both $14 and $13.
During that period and the following week in 2016, the price of the Conway, Kan., barrel slipped below $14 twice, but never touched last week’s record low of $13.12.
The immediate strength shown by natural gas prices has faded, with the U.S. benchmark Henry Hub price dropping to a four-year low on March 18. However, during the five-day tracking period that ended March 17, prices rose 1 cent/MMBtu and that—combined with steeply falling NGL prices—was enough to crush margins. The Mont Belvieu barrel alone suffered a 33.4% hit.