10-Q 1 ung-20230930x10q.htm 10-Q
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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-Q

Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2023.

or

Transition report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for the transition period from                     to                    .

Commission file number: 001-33096

United States Natural Gas Fund, LP

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware

 

20-5576760

(State or other jurisdiction of

 

(I.R.S. Employer

incorporation or organization)

 

Identification No.)

1850 Mt. Diablo Boulevard, Suite 640

Walnut Creek, California 94596

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)

(510) 522-9600

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

N/A

(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act.

Title of each class:

    

Trading Symbol(s)

    

Name of each exchange
on which registered:

Shares of United States Natural Gas Fund, LP

UNG

NYSE Arca, Inc.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes  No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large Accelerated Filer

 

Accelerated Filer

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Accelerated Filer

 

Smaller Reporting Company

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Growth Company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided in Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.). Yes No

The registrant had 149,284,588 outstanding shares as of October 30, 2023.

Part I. FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Item 1. Condensed Financial Statements.

Index to Condensed Financial Statements

Documents

    

Page

Condensed Statements of Financial Condition at September 30, 2023 (Unaudited) and December 31, 2022

4

Condensed Schedule of Investments (Unaudited) at September 30, 2023

5

Condensed Statements of Operations (Unaudited) for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022

6

Condensed Statements of Changes in Partners’ Capital (Unaudited) for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022

7

Condensed Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited) for the nine months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022

8

Notes to Condensed Financial Statements (Unaudited) for the period ended September 30, 2023

9

3

United States Natural Gas Fund, LP

Condensed Statements of Financial Condition

At September 30, 2023 (Unaudited) and December 31, 2022

    

September 30, 2023

    

December 31, 2022

Assets

 

  

 

  

Cash and cash equivalents (at cost $816,189,857 and $317,868,749, respectively) (Notes 2 and 5)

$

816,189,857

$

317,868,749

Equity in trading accounts:

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents (at cost $345,501,981 and $241,622,902, respectively)

 

345,501,981

 

241,622,902

Unrealized gain (loss) on open commodity futures contracts

 

(11,838,000)

 

(144,765,937)

Unrealized gain (loss) on open swap contracts

(7,028,587)

Receivable for shares sold

10,269,686

14,488,801

Dividends receivable

 

795,321

 

1,108,561

Interest receivable

 

3,633,613

 

334,804

Prepaid insurance*

104,474

16,624

ETF transaction fees receivable

 

 

1,000

Total Assets

$

1,157,628,345

$

430,675,504

Liabilities and Partners’ Capital

 

  

 

  

General Partner management fees payable (Note 3)

$

565,459

$

240,448

Professional fees payable

 

615,438

 

922,743

Brokerage commissions payable

 

171,877

 

160,052

Directors’ fees payable*

 

22,947

 

8,056

License fees payable

29,205

5,729

Total Liabilities

 

1,404,926

 

1,337,028

Commitments and Contingencies (Notes 3, 4 & 5)

 

 

  

Partners’ Capital

 

 

  

General Partners

 

 

Limited Partners

 

1,156,223,419

 

429,338,476

Total Partners’ Capital

 

1,156,223,419

 

429,338,476

Total Liabilities and Partners’ Capital

$

1,157,628,345

$

430,675,504

Limited Partners’ shares outstanding

169,784,588

30,184,588

Net asset value per share

$

6.81

$

14.22

Market value per share

$

6.83

$

14.10

*

Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified for consistency with the current presentation.

See accompanying notes to condensed financial statements.

4

United States Natural Gas Fund, LP

Condensed Schedule of Investments (Unaudited)

At September 30, 2023

    

    

    

Fair 

    

Value/Unrealized 

Gain (Loss) on 

Open 

Number of 

Commodity 

% of Partners’

Notional Amount

Contracts

Contracts

Capital

Open Commodity Futures Contracts - Long

United States Contracts

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

NYMEX Natural Gas NG November 2023 contracts, expiring October 2023*

$

845,987,910

 

28,479

$

(11,838,000)

 

(1.02)

    

Shares/Principal 

    

    

% of Partners’

Amount

Market Value

Capital

Cash Equivalents

 

  

 

  

 

  

United States Money Market Funds

 

  

 

  

 

  

Morgan Stanley Institutional Liquidity Funds - Government Portfolio - Institutional Shares, 5.27%#

 

190,950,000

190,950,000

 

16.52

Total United States Money Market Funds

 

  

$

190,950,000

 

16.52

Open OTC Commodity Swap Contracts

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

Unrealized 

Fair 

Gain (Loss) 

Value/Open 

on 

Fund Receives

Commodity 

Upfront 

Commodity 

from

Fund Pays 

Payment 

Expiration

Notional 

Swap 

Payments/(Premiums 

Swap 

Counterparty

Counterparty

Counterparty

Frequency

 Date

Amount

Contracts

Received)

 

Contracts(a)

MQCP362HT Index(b)

 

0.25

%  

Macquarie Bank Ltd

 

monthly

 

04/11/2023

 

201,673,111

 

201,647,394

 

 

(7,027,143)

SGIXCNG1T Index(b)

 

0.40

 

Societe Generale

 

monthly

 

09/29/2023

 

127,642,179

 

127,640,735

 

 

(1,444)

Total Open OTC Commodity Swap ContractsÙ

 

  

 

  

 

329,315,290

 

329,288,129

 

 

(7,028,587)

(a)Reflects the value at reset date of September 30, 2023.

(b)Custom index comprised of a basket of underlying instruments.

#   Reflects the 7-day yield at September 30, 2023.

Ù   Collateral amounted to $81,740,000 on open OTC commodity swap contracts.

*   Collateral amounted to $345,501,981 on open commodity futures contracts.

See accompanying notes to condensed financial statements.

5

United States Natural Gas Fund, LP

Condensed Statements of Operations (Unaudited)

For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022

    

Three months ended

    

Three months ended

    

Nine months ended

    

Nine months ended

September 30, 2023

September 30, 2022

September 30, 2023

September 30, 2022

Income

 

  

  

 

  

  

Gain (loss) on trading of commodity futures and swap contracts:

 

  

  

 

  

  

Realized gain (loss) on closed commodity futures contracts

$

7,202,157

$

80,320,250

$

(531,390,572)

$

373,636,810

Realized gain (loss) on swap contracts

2,076,722

(38,885,017)

Change in unrealized gain (loss) on open commodity futures contracts

 

(65,003,845)

 

32,996,099

 

132,927,937

 

(103,249,514)

Change in unrealized gain (loss) on open OTC commodity swap contracts

(36,595,600)

(7,028,587)

Dividend income

 

2,717,307

 

1,677,410

 

9,837,562

 

2,278,844

Interest income*

 

10,527,836

 

906,022

 

24,730,556

 

1,000,918

ETF transaction fees

 

82,000

 

45,000

 

292,000

 

154,000

Total Income (Loss)

$

(78,993,423)

$

115,944,781

(409,516,121)

$

273,821,058

Expenses

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

General Partner management fees (Note 3)

$

1,688,916

807,940

$

4,703,655

$

2,074,706

Professional fees

282,358

425,976

897,302

850,574

Brokerage commissions

 

582,817

 

155,282

 

2,175,234

 

523,328

Directors’ fees and insurance

 

53,918

 

29,583

 

134,489

 

77,178

License fees

 

42,222

 

20,199

 

117,591

 

51,868

Total Expenses

$

2,650,231

$

1,438,980

$

8,028,271

$

3,577,654

Net Income (Loss)

$

(81,643,654)

$

114,505,801

$

(417,544,392)

$

270,243,404

Net Income (Loss) per limited partner share

$

(0.65)

$

4.83

$

(7.41)

$

10.89

Net Income (Loss) per weighted average limited partner share

$

(0.51)

$

5.78

$

(2.89)

$

13.01

Weighted average limited partner shares outstanding

 

160,160,675

 

19,800,892

 

144,384,954

 

20,770,302

*Interest income does not exceed paid in kind of 5%.

See accompanying notes to condensed financial statements.

6

United States Natural Gas Fund, LP

Condensed Statements of Changes in Partners’ Capital (Unaudited)

For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022

Limited Partners*

Three months ended

Three months ended

Nine months ended

Nine months ended

    

September 30, 2023

    

September 30, 2022

    

September 30, 2023

    

September 30, 2022

Balances at beginning of period

$

1,120,319,150

$

414,815,293

$

429,338,476

$

371,534,391

Addition of 76,900,000, 9,100,000, 338,200,000 and 44,300,000 partnership shares, respectively

529,778,764

 

258,068,758

 

2,670,802,748

 

966,247,004

Redemption of (57,200,000), (11,400,000), (198,600,000) and (54,100,000) partnership shares, respectively

(412,230,841)

 

(317,427,159)

 

(1,526,373,413)

 

(1,138,062,106)

Net income (loss)

(81,643,654)

 

114,505,801

 

(417,544,392)

 

270,243,404

 

 

 

Balances at end of period

$

1,156,223,419

$

469,962,693

$

1,156,223,419

$

469,962,693

*

General Partners’ shares outstanding and capital for the periods presented were zero.

See accompanying notes to condensed financial statements.

7

United States Natural Gas Fund, LP

Condensed Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited)

For the nine months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022

    

Nine months ended

    

Nine months ended

September 30, 2023

September 30, 2022

Cash Flows from Operating Activities:

 

  

 

  

Net income (loss)

$

(417,544,392)

$

270,243,404

Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to net cash provided by (used in) operating activities:

 

 

  

Change in unrealized (gain) loss on open commodity futures contracts

(132,927,937)

103,249,514

Change in unrealized (gain) loss on open swap contracts

 

7,028,587

 

(Increase) decrease in dividends receivable

313,240

(605,282)

(Increase) decrease in interest receivable

(3,298,809)

(283,260)

(Increase) decrease in prepaid insurance*

 

(87,850)

 

(22,354)

(Increase) decrease in ETF transaction fees receivable

 

1,000

 

(1,000)

Increase (decrease) in General Partner management fees payable

 

325,011

 

58,641

Increase (decrease) in professional fees payable

(307,305)

(93,914)

Increase (decrease) in brokerage commissions payable

11,825

(1,391)

Increase (decrease) in directors’ fees payable*

14,891

270

Increase (decrease) in license fees payable

 

23,476

(5,327)

Increase (decrease) in related party payable

(4,500,000)

Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities

(546,448,263)

368,039,301

Cash Flows from Financing Activities:

 

Addition of partnership shares

 

2,675,021,863

 

963,918,711

Redemption of partnership shares

 

(1,526,373,413)

 

(1,138,062,106)

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

 

1,148,648,450

 

(174,143,395)

Net Increase (Decrease) in Cash and Cash Equivalents

 

602,200,187

 

193,895,906

Total Cash, Cash Equivalents and Equity in Trading Accounts, beginning of period

 

559,491,651

 

375,670,353

Total Cash, Cash Equivalents and Equity in Trading Accounts, end of period

$

1,161,691,838

$

569,566,259

Components of Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Equity in Trading Accounts

 

  

 

Cash and cash equivalents

$

816,189,857

$

279,255,908

Equity in Trading Accounts:

 

  

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

345,501,981

 

290,310,351

Total Cash, Cash Equivalents and Equity in Trading Accounts

$

1,161,691,838

$

569,566,259

*

Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified for consistency with the current presentation.

See accompanying notes to condensed financial statements.

8

United States Natural Gas Fund, LP

Notes to Condensed Financial Statements (Unaudited)

For the period ended September 30, 2023

NOTE 1 — ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS

The United States Natural Gas Fund, LP (“UNG”) was organized as a limited partnership under the laws of the state of Delaware on September 11, 2006. UNG is a commodity pool that issues limited partnership interests (“shares”) traded on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “NYSE Arca”). Prior to November 25, 2008, UNG’s shares traded on the American Stock Exchange (the “AMEX”). UNG will continue in perpetuity, unless terminated sooner upon the occurrence of one or more events as described in its Fifth Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership dated as of December 15, 2017 (the “LP Agreement”), which grants full management and control to its general partner, United States Commodity Funds LLC (“USCF”).

The investment objective of UNG is for the daily changes in percentage terms of its shares’ per share net asset value (“NAV”) to reflect the daily changes in percentage terms of the price of natural gas delivered at the Henry Hub, Louisiana, as measured by the daily changes in the price of a specified short-term futures contract called the “Benchmark Futures Contract”, plus interest earned on UNG’s collateral holdings, less UNG’s expenses. The Benchmark Futures Contract is the futures contract on natural gas as traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (the “NYMEX”) that is the near month contract to expire, except when the near month contract is within two weeks of expiration, in which case it will be measured by the futures contract that is the next month contract to expire. UNG seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing so that the average daily percentage change in UNG’s NAV for any period of 30 successive valuation days will be within plus/minus ten percent (10)% of the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Futures Contract over the same period.

UNG seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in futures contracts for natural gas that are traded on the NYMEX, ICE Futures Europe and ICE Futures U.S. (together, “ICE Futures”) or other U.S. and foreign exchanges (collectively, “Futures Contracts”) and to a lesser extent, in order to comply with regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures, liquidity requirements, or in view of market conditions, other natural gas-related investments such as cash settled options on Futures Contracts, forward contracts for natural gas, cleared swap contracts, and non-exchange traded (“over-the-counter” or “OTC”) transactions that are based on the price of natural gas, crude oil and other petroleum-based fuels, as well as futures contracts for crude oil, heating oil, gasoline, and other petroleum-based fuels, Futures Contracts and indices based on the foregoing (collectively, “Other Natural Gas-Related Investments”). Market conditions that USCF currently anticipates could cause UNG to invest in Other Natural Gas-Related Investments include, but are not limited to, those allowing UNG to obtain greater liquidity or to execute transactions with more favorable pricing. For convenience and unless otherwise specified, Futures Contracts and Other Natural Gas-Related Investments collectively are referred to as “Natural Gas Interests” in the notes to the financial statements. As of September 30, 2023, UNG held 28,479 Futures Contracts traded on the NYMEX and did not hold any Natural Gas Futures Contracts traded on the ICE Futures US.

In addition, USCF believes that market arbitrage opportunities will cause daily changes in UNG’s share price on the NYSE Arca on a percentage basis to closely track daily changes in UNG’s per share NAV on a percentage basis. USCF further believes that the daily changes in prices of the Benchmark Futures Contract have historically closely tracked the daily changes in spot prices of natural gas. USCF believes that the net effect of these relationships will be that the daily changes in the price of UNG’s shares on the NYSE Arca on a percentage basis will closely track the daily changes in the spot price of natural gas on a percentage basis less UNG’s expenses.

Investors should be aware that UNG’s investment objective is not for its NAV or market price of shares to equal, in dollar terms, the spot price of natural gas or any particular futures contract based on natural gas, nor is UNG’s investment objective for the percentage change in its NAV to reflect the percentage change of the price of any particular futures contract as measured over a time period greater than one day. This is because natural market forces called contango and backwardation have impacted the total return on an investment in UNG’s shares during the past year relative to a hypothetical direct investment in natural gas and, in the future, it is likely that the relationship between the market price of UNG’s shares and changes in the spot prices of natural gas will continue to be impacted by contango and backwardation. (It is important to note that the disclosure above ignores the potential costs associated with physically owning and storing natural gas, which could be substantial.)

9

UNG commenced investment operations on April 18, 2007 and has a fiscal year ending on December 31. USCF is responsible for the management of UNG. USCF is a member of the National Futures Association (the “NFA”) and became registered as a commodity pool operator with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) effective December 1, 2005 and a swaps firm on August 8, 2013. USCF is also the general partner of the United States Oil Fund, LP (“USO”), the United States 12 Month Oil Fund, LP (“USL”), the United States Gasoline Fund, LP (“UGA”), the United States 12 Month Natural Gas Fund, LP (“UNL”) and the United States Brent Oil Fund, LP (“BNO”).

USCF is also the sponsor of the United States Commodity Index Funds Trust (“USCIFT”), a Delaware statutory trust and each of its series: the United States Commodity Index Fund (“USCI”) and the United States Copper Index Fund (“CPER”).

BNO, UGA, UNL, USL, USO, USCI and CPER are referred to collectively herein as the “Related Public Funds.”

UNG issues shares to certain authorized purchasers (“Authorized Participants”) by offering baskets consisting of 100,000 shares (“Creation Baskets”) through ALPS Distributors, Inc., as the marketing agent (the “Marketing Agent”). The purchase price for a Creation Basket is based upon the NAV of a share calculated shortly after the close of the core trading session on the NYSE Arca on the day the order to create the basket is properly received.

Authorized Participants pay UNG a $1,000 transaction fee for each order placed to create one or more Creation Baskets or to redeem one or more baskets (“Redemption Baskets”), consisting of 100,000 shares. Shares may be purchased or sold on a nationally recognized securities exchange in smaller increments than a Creation Basket or Redemption Basket. Shares purchased or sold on a nationally recognized securities exchange are not purchased or sold at the per share NAV of UNG but rather at market prices quoted on such exchange.

In April 2007, UNG initially registered 30,000,000 shares on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). On April 18, 2007, UNG listed its shares on the AMEX under the ticker symbol “UNG” and switched to trading on the NYSE Arca under the same ticker symbol on November 25, 2008. On that day, UNG established its initial per share NAV by setting the price at $50.00 and issued 200,000 shares in exchange for $10,001,000. UNG also commenced investment operations on April 18, 2007, by purchasing Natural Gas Futures Contracts traded on the NYMEX based on natural gas. As of September 30, 2023, UNG had registered an unlimited number of shares and available for issuance. On April 26, 2022, the SEC declared effective a registration statement filed by UNG that registered an unlimited number of shares. As a result, UNG has an unlimited number of shares that can be issued in the form of Creation Baskets.

On January 4, 2018, after the close of trading on the NYSE Arca, UNG effected a 1-for- 4 reverse share split and post-split shares of UNG began trading on January 5, 2018. As a result of the reverse share split, every four pre-split shares of UNG were automatically exchanged for one post-split share. Immediately prior to the reverse split, there were 97,466,476 shares of UNG issued and outstanding, representing a per share NAV of $5.69. Immediately after the reverse share split, the number of issued and outstanding shares of UNG decreased to 24,366,619, not accounting for fractional shares, and the per share NAV increased to $22.76. In connection with the reverse share split, the CUSIP number for UNG’s shares changed to 912318300. UNG’s ticker symbol, “UNG,” did not change.

The accompanying unaudited condensed financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Rule 10-01 of Regulation S-X promulgated by the SEC and, therefore, do not include all information and footnote disclosure required under generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”). The financial information included herein is unaudited; however, such financial information reflects all adjustments, consisting only of normal recurring adjustments, which are, in the opinion of USCF, necessary for the fair presentation of the condensed financial statements for the interim period.

NOTE 2 — SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

Basis of Presentation

The condensed financial statements have been prepared in conformity with U.S. GAAP as detailed in the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification. UNG is an investment company for accounting purposes and follows the accounting and reporting guidance in FASB Topic 946.

10

Revenue Recognition

Commodity futures contracts, swap and forward contracts, physical commodities and related options are recorded on the trade date. All such transactions are recorded on the identified cost basis and marked to market daily. Unrealized gains or losses on open contracts are reflected in the condensed statements of financial condition and represent the difference between the original contract amount and the market value (as determined by exchange settlement prices for futures contracts and related options and cash dealer prices at a predetermined time for swap and forward contracts, physical commodities, and their related options) as of the last business day of the year or as of the last date of the condensed financial statements. Changes in the unrealized gains or losses between periods are reflected in the condensed statements of operations. UNG earns income on funds held at the custodian or futures commission merchants (“FCMs”) at prevailing market rates earned on such investments.

Brokerage Commissions

Brokerage commissions on all open commodity futures contracts are accrued on a full-turn basis.

Income Taxes

UNG is not subject to federal income taxes; each partner reports his/her allocable share of income, gain, loss, deductions or credits on his/her own income tax return.

In accordance with U.S. GAAP, UNG is required to determine whether a tax position is more likely than not to be sustained upon examination by the applicable taxing authority, including resolution of any tax related appeals or litigation processes, based on the technical merits of the position. UNG files an income tax return in the U.S. federal jurisdiction and may file income tax returns in various U.S. states. UNG is not subject to income tax return examinations by major taxing authorities for years before 2019. The tax benefit recognized is measured as the largest amount of benefit that has a greater than fifty percent likelihood of being realized upon ultimate settlement. De-recognition of a tax benefit previously recognized results in UNG recording a tax liability that reduces net assets. However, UNG’s conclusions regarding this policy may be subject to review and adjustment at a later date based on factors including, but not limited to, on-going analysis of and changes to tax laws, regulations and interpretations thereof. UNG recognizes interest accrued related to unrecognized tax benefits and penalties related to unrecognized tax benefits in income tax fees payable, if assessed. No interest expense or penalties have been recognized as of and for the period ended September 30, 2023.

Creations and Redemptions

Authorized Participants may purchase Creation Baskets or redeem Redemption Baskets only in blocks of 100,000 shares at a price equal to the NAV of the shares calculated shortly after the close of the core trading session on the NYSE Arca on the day the order is placed.

UNG receives or pays the proceeds from shares sold or redeemed within two business days after the trade date of the purchase or redemption. The amounts due from Authorized Participants are reflected in UNG’s condensed statements of financial condition as receivable for shares sold and amounts payable to Authorized Participants upon redemption are reflected as payable for shares redeemed.

Authorized Participants pay UNG a $1,000 transaction fee for each order placed to create one or more Creation Baskets or to redeem one or more Redemption Baskets.

Partnership Capital and Allocation of Partnership Income and Losses

Profit or loss shall be allocated among the partners of UNG in proportion to the weighted-average number of shares each partner holds as of the close of each month. USCF may revise, alter or otherwise modify this method of allocation as described in the LP Agreement.

Calculation of Per Share NAV

UNG’s per share NAV is calculated on each NYSE Arca trading day by taking the current market value of its total assets, subtracting any liabilities and dividing that amount by the total number of shares outstanding. UNG uses the closing price for the contracts on the relevant exchange on that day to determine the value of contracts held on such exchange.

11

Net Income (Loss) Per Share

Net income (loss) per share is the difference between the per share NAV at the beginning of each period and at the end of each period. The weighted average number of shares outstanding was computed for purposes of disclosing net income (loss) per weighted average share. The weighted average shares are equal to the number of shares outstanding at the end of the period, adjusted proportionately for shares added and redeemed based on the amount of time the shares were outstanding during such period. There were no shares held by USCF at September 30, 2023.

Offering Costs

Offering costs incurred in connection with the registration of additional shares after the initial registration of shares are borne by UNG. These costs include registration fees paid to regulatory agencies and all legal, accounting, printing and other expenses associated with such offerings. These costs are accounted for as a deferred charge and thereafter amortized to expense over twelve months on a straight-line basis or a shorter period if warranted.

Cash Equivalents

Cash equivalents include money market funds and overnight deposits or time deposits with original maturity dates of six months or less.

Reclassification

Certain amounts in the accompanying condensed financial statements were reclassified to conform to the current presentation.

Use of Estimates

The preparation of condensed financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires USCF to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amount of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the condensed financial statements, and the reported amounts of the revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results may differ from those estimates and assumptions.

Other

On January 4, 2018, after the close of the NYSA Arca, UNG effected a 1-for-4 reverse share split and post-split shares of UNG began trading on January 5, 2018. The unaudited condensed financial information in this annual report on Form 10-K gives effect to the reverse share split and the post-split shares as if they had been completed on January 1, 2018.

The audited financial information and pro forma financial information, as well as the historical financial information as of and for the year ended December 31, 2018, was derived from UNG’s historical financial statements. The financial statements in this annual report on Form 10-K are presented in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification 260 for purposes of presenting the 1-for-4 reverse split on historical basis for all periods reported.

NOTE 3 — FEES PAID BY THE FUND AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

USCF Management Fee

Under the LP Agreement, USCF is responsible for investing the assets of UNG in accordance with the objectives and policies of UNG. In addition, USCF has arranged for one or more third parties to provide administrative, custody, accounting, transfer agency and other necessary services to UNG. For these services, UNG is contractually obligated to pay USCF a fee, which is paid monthly, equal to 0.60% per annum of average daily total net assets of $1,000,000,000 or less and 0.50% per annum of average daily total net assets that are greater than $1,000,000,000.

12

Ongoing Registration Fees and Other Offering Expenses

UNG pays all costs and expenses associated with the ongoing registration of its shares subsequent to the initial offering. These costs include registration or other fees paid to regulatory agencies in connection with the offer and sale of shares, and all legal, accounting, printing and other expenses associated with such offer and sale. For the nine months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022, UNG did not incur registration fees and other offering expenses.

Independent Directors’ and Officers’ Expenses

UNG is responsible for paying its portion of the directors’ and officers’ liability insurance for UNG and the other Related Public Funds and the fees and expenses of the independent directors who also serve as audit committee members of UNG and the other Related Public Funds. UNG shares the fees and expenses on a pro rata basis with each other Related Public Fund, as described above, based on the relative assets of each Related Public Fund computed on a daily basis. These fees and expenses for the year ending December 31, 2023 are estimated to be a total of $190,000 for UNG and, in the aggregate for UNG and the other Related Public Funds, $1,210,000.

Licensing Fees

As discussed in Note 4 below, UNG entered into a licensing agreement with the NYMEX on April 10, 2006, as amended on October 20, 2011. Pursuant to the agreement, UNG and the other Related Public Funds, other than BNO, USCI and CPER, pay a licensing fee that is equal to 0.015% on all net assets. During the nine months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022, UNG incurred $117,591 and $51,868, respectively under this arrangement.

Investor Tax Reporting Cost

The fees and expenses associated with UNG’s audit expenses and tax accounting and reporting requirements are paid by UNG. These costs were estimated to be $1,100,000 for the year ending December 31, 2023. Tax reporting costs fluctuate between years due to the number of shareholders during any given year.

Other Expenses and Fees

In addition to the fees described above, UNG pays all brokerage fees and other expenses in connection with the operation of UNG, excluding costs and expenses paid by USCF as outlined in Note 4 – Contracts and Agreements below.

NOTE 4 — CONTRACTS AND AGREEMENTS

Marketing Agent Agreement

UNG is party to a marketing agent agreement, dated as of April 17, 2007, as amended from time to time, with the Marketing Agent and USCF, whereby the Marketing Agent provides certain marketing services for UNG as outlined in the agreement. The fee of the Marketing Agent through September 30, 2023, which is borne by USCF, was equal to 0.06% on UNG’s assets up to $3 billion and 0.04% on UNG’s assets in excess of $3 billion. The agreement with the Marketing Agent has been amended and, commencing October 1, 2022, the fee of the Marketing Agent, which is calculated daily and payable monthly by USCF, is equal to 0.025% of UNG’s total net assets. In no event may the aggregate compensation paid to the Marketing Agent and any affiliate of USCF for distribution-related services exceed 10 percent of the gross proceeds of UNG’s offering.

The above fee does not include website construction and development, which are also borne by USCF.

Custody, Transfer Agency and Fund Administration and Accounting Services Agreements

USCF engaged The Bank of New York Mellon, a New York corporation authorized to conduct a banking business (“BNY Mellon”), to provide UNG and each of the other Related Public Funds with certain custodial, administrative and accounting, and transfer agency services, pursuant to the following agreements with BNY Mellon dated as of March 20, 2020 (together, the “BNY Mellon Agreements”), which were effective as of April 1, 2020: (i) a Custody Agreement; (ii) a Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement; and (iii) a Transfer Agency and Service Agreement. USCF pays the fees of BNY Mellon for its services under the BNY Mellon Agreements and such fees are determined by the parties from time to time.

13

Brokerage and Futures Commission Merchant Agreements

UNG entered into a brokerage agreement with RBC Capital Markets LLC (“RBC”) to serve as UNG’s FCM effective October 10, 2013. UNG has engaged each of RCG Division of Marex Spectron (“RCG”), E D & F Man Capital Markets Inc. (“MCM”), Macquarie Futures USA LLC (“MFUSA”) and ADM Investor Services Inc. to serve as additional FCMs to UNG effective on May 28, 2020, June 5, 2020, December 3, 2020 and August 8, 2023, respectively. The agreements with UNG’s FCMs require the FCMs to provide services to UNG in connection with the purchase and sale of Natural Gas Futures Contracts and Other Natural Gas-Related Investments that may be purchased and sold by or through the applicable FCM for UNG’s account. In accordance with the FCM agreements, UNG pays each FCM commissions of approximately $7 to $8 per round-turn trade, including applicable exchange, clearing and NFA fees for Natural Gas Futures Contracts and options on Natural Gas Futures Contracts. Such fees include those incurred when purchasing Natural Gas Futures Contracts and options on Natural Gas Futures Contracts when UNG issues shares as a result of a Creation Basket, as well as fees incurred when selling Natural Gas Futures Contracts and options on Natural Gas Futures Contracts when UNG redeems shares as a result of a Redemption Basket. Such fees are also incurred when Natural Gas Futures Contracts and options on Natural Gas Futures Contracts are purchased or redeemed for the purpose of rebalancing the portfolio. UNG also incurs commissions to brokers for the purchase and sale of Natural Gas Futures Contracts, Other Natural Gas-Related Investments or short-term obligations of the United States of two years or less (“Treasuries”).

Nine months ended

Nine months ended

    

September 30, 2023

    

September 30, 2022

Total commissions accrued to brokers

$

2,175,234

$

523,328

Total commissions as annualized percentage of average total net assets

 

0.28

%

0.15

%

The increase in total commissions accrued to brokers for the nine months ended September 30, 2023, compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2022, was due primarily to a higher number of natural gas futures contracts being held and traded.

Swap Dealer Agreements

UNG entered into ISDA 2002 Master Agreements with each of Macquarie Bank Limited the (“Macquarie ISDA”) and Société Générale (“Société Générale ISDA”) on November 30, 2021 and June 13, 2022, respectively, pursuant to which each of Macquarie Bank Limited and Société Générale has agreed to serve as an over-the-counter (“OTC”) swap counterparty for UNG. The Macquarie ISDA and Societe Generale ISDA each provide UNG with the ability to invest in OTC swaps in furtherance of UNG’s investment objective by providing it with investment flexibility in light of market conditions, liquidity, regulatory requirements, and risk diversification. UNG may enter into OTC swap transactions under each of the Macquarie ISDA and Société Générale ISDA in light of the foregoing. Any OTC swap transactions of UNG that are outstanding under the Macquarie ISDA and the Société Générale ISDA, along with UNG’s other holdings, will be published on UNG’s webpage, www.uscfinvestments.com. In accordance with each of the swap agreements described above, UNG pays each swap dealer a flat fee in a range between 0.20% and 0.30% on the daily notional value of each OTC swap transaction.

NYMEX Licensing Agreement

UNG and the NYMEX entered into a licensing agreement on April 10, 2006, as amended on October 20, 2011, whereby UNG was granted a non-exclusive license to use certain of the NYMEX’s settlement prices and service marks. Under the licensing agreement, UNG and the Related Public Funds, other than BNO, USCI, and CPER, pay the NYMEX an asset-based fee for the license, the terms of which are described in Note 3. UNG expressly disclaims any association with the NYMEX or endorsement of UNG by the NYMEX and acknowledges that “NYMEX” and “New York Mercantile Exchange” are registered trademarks of the NYMEX.

NOTE 5 — FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS, OFF-BALANCE SHEET RISKS AND CONTINGENCIES

UNG may engage in the trading of futures contracts, options on futures contracts, cleared swaps and OTC swaps (collectively, “derivatives”). UNG is exposed to both market risk, which is the risk arising from changes in the market value of the contracts, and credit risk, which is the risk of failure by another party to perform according to the terms of a contract.

14

UNG may enter into futures contracts, options on futures contracts, cleared swaps, and OTC swaps to gain exposure to changes in the value of an underlying commodity. A futures contract obligates the seller to deliver (and the purchaser to accept) the future delivery of a specified quantity and type of a commodity at a specified time and place. Some futures contracts may call for physical delivery of the asset, while others are settled in cash. The contractual obligations of a buyer or seller may generally be satisfied by taking or making physical delivery of the underlying commodity or by making an offsetting sale or purchase of an identical futures contract on the same or linked exchange before the designated date of delivery. Cleared swaps are agreements that are eligible to be cleared by a clearinghouse, e.g., ICE Clear Europe, and provide the efficiencies and benefits that centralized clearing on an exchange offers to traders of futures contracts, including credit risk intermediation and the ability to offset positions initiated with different counterparties. OTC swaps are entered into between two parties in private contracts. In an OTC swap, each party bears credit risk to the other party, i.e., the risk that the other party may not be able to perform its obligations under the OTC swap.

The purchase and sale of futures contracts, options on futures contracts and cleared swaps require margin deposits with an FCM. Additional deposits may be necessary for any loss on contract value. The Commodity Exchange Act requires FCMs to segregate all customer transactions and assets from the FCM’s proprietary transactions and assets. To reduce the credit risk that arises in connection with OTC swaps, UNG will generally enter into an agreement with each counterparty based on the Master Agreement published by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc., which provides for the netting of its overall exposure to its counterparty. The Master Agreement is negotiated as between the parties and would address, among other things, the exchange of margin between the parties.

Futures contracts, options on futures contracts and cleared swaps involve, to varying degrees, elements of market risk (specifically commodity price risk) and exposure to loss in excess of the amount of variation margin. The face or contract amounts reflect the extent of the total exposure UNG has in the particular classes of instruments. Additional risks associated with the use of futures contracts are an imperfect correlation between movements in the price of the futures contracts and the market value of the underlying securities and the possibility of an illiquid market for a futures contract. Buying and selling options on futures contracts exposes investors to the risks of purchasing or selling futures contracts.

As to OTC swaps, valuing OTC derivatives is less certain than valuing actively traded financial instruments such as exchange-traded futures contracts and securities or cleared swaps, because the price and terms on which such OTC derivatives are entered into or can be terminated are individually negotiated, and those prices and terms may not reflect the best price or terms available from other sources. In addition, while market makers and dealers generally quote indicative prices or terms for entering into or terminating OTC contracts, they typically are not contractually obligated to do so, particularly if they are not a party to the transaction. As a result, it may be difficult to obtain an independent value for an outstanding OTC derivatives transaction.

Significant market volatility has recently occurred in the natural gas markets and the natural gas futures markets. Such volatility is attributable in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, related supply chain disruptions, the Russia-Ukraine war, political unrest, attacks or threats of attack by terrorists, conflicts in the Middle East, and continuing disputes among natural gas-producing countries. These factors could cause continuing or increased volatility in the future, which may affect the value, pricing and liquidity of some investments or other assets, including those held by or invested in by UNG and the impact of which could limit UNG’s ability to have a substantial portion of its assets invested in the Benchmark Futures Contract. In such a circumstance, UNG could, if it determined it appropriate to do so in light of market conditions and regulatory requirements, invest in other Futures Contracts and/or Other Natural-Gas Related Investments.

All of the futures contracts held by UNG through September 30, 2023 were exchange-traded. The risks associated with exchange-traded contracts are generally perceived to be less than those associated with OTC swaps since, in OTC swaps, a party must rely solely on the credit of its respective individual counterparties. However, in the future, if UNG were to enter into non-exchange traded contracts, it would be subject to the credit risk associated with counterparty non-performance. The credit risk from counterparty non-performance associated with such instruments is the net unrealized gain, if any, on the transaction. UNG has credit risk under its futures contracts since the sole counterparty to all domestic and foreign futures contracts is the clearinghouse for the exchange on which the relevant contracts are traded. In addition, UNG bears the risk of financial failure by the clearing broker.

15

UNG’s cash and other property, such as Treasuries, deposited with its FCMs are considered commingled with all other customer funds, subject to such FCM’s segregation requirements. In the event of an FCM’s insolvency, recovery may be limited to a pro rata share of segregated funds available. It is possible that the recovered amount could be less than the total of cash and other property deposited. The insolvency of an FCM could result in the complete loss of UNG’s assets posted with that FCM; however, the majority of UNG’s assets are held in investments in Treasuries, cash and/or cash equivalents with UNG’s custodian and would not be impacted by the insolvency of an FCM. The failure or insolvency of UNG’s custodian, however, could result in a substantial loss of UNG’s assets.

USCF invests a portion of UNG’s cash in money market funds that seek to maintain a stable per share NAV. UNG is exposed to any risk of loss associated with an investment in such money market funds. As of September 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022, UNG held investments in money market funds in the amounts of $190,950,000 and $317,800,000, respectively. UNG also holds cash deposits with its custodian. As of September 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022, UNG held cash deposits and investments in Treasuries in the amounts of $970,741,838 and $241,691,651 respectively, with the custodian and FCMs. Some or all of these amounts may be subject to loss should UNG’s custodian and/or FCMs cease operations.

For derivatives, risks arise from changes in the market value of the contracts. Theoretically, UNG is exposed to market risk equal to the value of futures contracts purchased and unlimited liability on such contracts sold short or that the value of the futures contract could fall below zero. As both a buyer and a seller of options, UNG pays or receives a premium at the outset and then bears the risk of unfavorable changes in the price of the contract underlying the option.

UNG’s policy is to continuously monitor its exposure to market and counterparty risk through the use of a variety of financial, position and credit exposure reporting controls and procedures. In addition, UNG has a policy of requiring review of the credit standing of each broker or counterparty with which it conducts business.

The financial instruments held by UNG are reported in its condensed statements of financial condition at market or fair value, or at carrying amounts that approximate fair value, because of their highly liquid nature and short-term maturity.

NOTE 6 — FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

The following table presents per share performance data and other supplemental financial data for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2023 and 2022 for the shareholders. This information has been derived from information presented in the condensed financial statements.

    

Three months ended

    

Three months ended

    

Nine months ended

    

Nine months ended

    

September 30, 2023

 

September 30, 2022

 

September 30, 2023

September 30, 2022

(Unaudited)

(Unaudited)

(Unaudited)

(Unaudited)

Per Share Operating Performance:

 

  

  

 

  

 

  

 

Net asset value, beginning of period

$

7.46

$

18.45

$

14.22

$

12.39

Total income (loss)

 

(0.63)

 

4.90

 

(7.35)

 

11.06

Total expenses

 

(0.02)

 

(0.07)

 

(0.06)

 

(0.17)

Net increase (decrease) in net asset value

 

(0.65)

 

4.83

 

(7.41)

 

10.89

Net asset value, end of period

$

6.81

$

23.28

$

6.81

$

23.28

Total Return

 

(8.71)

%  

 

26.18

%

 

(52.11)

%  

 

87.89

%  

Ratios to Average Net Assets

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Total income (loss)

 

(7.07)

%  

 

21.70

%

 

(39.07)

%  

 

59.23

%  

Management fees#

 

0.60

%  

 

0.60

%

 

0.60

%  

 

0.60

%  

Total expenses excluding management fees#

 

0.34

%  

 

0.47

%

 

0.42

%  

 

0.43

%  

Net income (loss)

 

(7.31)

%  

 

21.43

%

 

(39.84)

%  

 

58.45

%  

#

Annualized.

Total returns are calculated based on the change in value during the period. An individual shareholder’s total return and ratio may vary from the above total returns and ratios based on the timing of contributions to and withdrawals from UNG.

16

NOTE 7 — FAIR VALUE OF FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS

UNG values its investments in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification 820 – Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures (“ASC 820”). ASC 820 defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value in generally accepted accounting principles, and expands disclosures about fair value measurement. The changes to past practice resulting from the application of ASC 820 relate to the definition of fair value, the methods used to measure fair value, and the expanded disclosures about fair value measurement. ASC 820 establishes a fair value hierarchy that distinguishes between: (1) market participant assumptions developed based on market data obtained from sources independent of UNG (observable inputs) and (2) UNG’s own assumptions about market participant assumptions developed based on the best information available under the circumstances (unobservable inputs). The three levels defined by the ASC 820 hierarchy are as follows:

Level I – Quoted prices (unadjusted) in active markets for identical assets or liabilities that the reporting entity has the ability to access at the measurement date.

Level II – Inputs other than quoted prices included within Level I assets include the following: quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets, quoted prices for identical or similar assets or liabilities in markets that are not active, inputs other than quoted prices that are observable for the asset or liability, and inputs that are derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data by correlation or other means (market-corroborated inputs).

Level III – Unobservable pricing input at the measurement date for the asset or liability. Unobservable inputs shall be used to measure fair value to the extent that observable inputs are not available.

In some instances, the inputs used to measure fair value might fall within different levels of the fair value hierarchy. The level in the fair value hierarchy within which the fair value measurement in its entirety falls shall be determined based on the lowest input level that is significant to the fair value measurement in its entirety.

The following table summarizes the valuation of UNG’s securities at September 30, 2023 using the fair value hierarchy:

At September 30, 2023

    

Total

    

Level I

    

Level II

    

Level III

Short-Term Investments

$

190,950,000

$

190,950,000

$

$

Exchange-Traded Futures Contracts

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

United States Contracts

 

(11,838,000)

 

(11,838,000)

 

OTC Commodity Swap Contracts

 

(7,028,587)

 

(7,028,587)

 

The following table summarizes the valuation of UNG’s securities at December 31, 2022 using the fair value hierarchy:

At December 31, 2022

    

Total

    

Level I

    

Level II

    

Level III

Short-Term Investments

$

317,800,000

$

317,800,000

$

$

Exchange-Traded Futures Contracts

 

 

 

  

 

  

United States Contracts

 

(144,765,937)

 

(144,765,937)

 

 

Effective January 1, 2009, UNG adopted the provisions of Accounting Standards Codification 815 — Derivatives and Hedging, which require presentation of qualitative disclosures about objectives and strategies for using derivatives, quantitative disclosures about fair value amounts and gains and losses on derivatives.

Fair Value of Derivative Instruments

    

Condensed

    

    

Statements of

Financial

Fair Value at

Condition

Fair Value at

December 31, 

Derivatives not Accounted for as Hedging Instruments

Location

September 30, 2023

2022

Futures – Commodity Contracts

 

Liabilities

$

(11,838,000)

$

(144,765,937)

Swap – Commodity Contracts

Liabilities

$

(7,028,587)

$

17

The Effect of Derivative Instruments on the Condensed Statements of Operations

For the nine months ended

For the nine months ended

September 30, 2023

September 30, 2022

Realized Gain

Derivatives not

(Loss) on

Change in Unrealized

Change in Unrealized

Accounted for as

Location of Gain (Loss)

Derivatives

Gain (Loss) on

Realized Gain (Loss) on

Gain (Loss) on

Hedging

on Derivatives

Recognized in

Derivatives Recognized

Derivatives Recognized

Derivatives Recognized

Instruments

    

Recognized in Income

    

Income

    

in Income

    

in Income

    

in Income

Futures - Commodity Contracts

Realized gain (loss) on closed positions

$

(531,390,572)

$

373,636,810

 

Change in unrealized gain (loss) on open positions

$

132,927,937

$

(103,249,514)

OTC Swap - Commodity Contracts

Realized gain (loss) on closed positions

$

(38,885,017)

$

Change in unrealized gain (loss) on open positions

$

(7,028,587)

$

NOTE 8 — SUBSEQUENT EVENTS

UNG has performed an evaluation of subsequent events through the date the condensed financial statements were issued. This evaluation did not result in any subsequent events that necessitated disclosures and/or adjustments.

18

Item 2. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the condensed financial statements and the notes thereto of the United States Natural Gas Fund, LP (“UNG”) included elsewhere in this quarterly report on Form 10-Q.

Forward-Looking Information

This quarterly report on Form 10-Q, including this “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” contains forward-looking statements which generally relate to future events or future performance. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. All statements (other than statements of historical fact) included in this Form-Q that address activities, events or developments that will or may occur in the future, including such matters as changes in inflation in the United States, movements in the stock market, movements in U.S. and foreign currencies, and movements in the commodities markets and indexes that track such movements, UNG’s operations, USCF’s plans and references to UNG’s future success and other similar matters, are forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions. Actual events or results may differ materially. These statements are based upon certain assumptions and analyses USCF has made based on its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors appropriate in the circumstances. Whether or not actual results and developments will conform to USCF’s expectations and predictions, however, is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including the special considerations discussed in this prospectus, general economic, market and business conditions, changes in laws or regulations, including those concerning taxes, made by governmental authorities or regulatory bodies, and other world economic and political developments.

UNG has based the forward-looking statements included in this quarterly report on Form 10-Q on information available to it on the date of this quarterly report on Form 10-Q, and UNG assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Although UNG undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, investors are advised to consult any additional disclosures that UNG may make directly to them or through reports that UNG files in the future with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K.

Introduction

UNG, a Delaware limited partnership, is a commodity pool that issues shares that may be purchased and sold on the NYSE Arca. The investment objective of UNG is for the daily changes in percentage terms of its shares’ per share NAV to reflect the daily changes, in percentage terms, of the price of natural gas delivered at the Henry Hub, Louisiana, as measured by the daily changes in the price of the futures contract for natural gas traded on the NYMEX that is the near month contract to expire, except when the near month contract is within two weeks of expiration, in which case it will be measured by the futures contract that is the next month contract to expire (the “Benchmark Futures Contract”), plus interest earned on UNG’s collateral holdings, less UNG’s expenses. “Near month contract” means the next contract traded on the NYMEX due to expire. “Next month contract” means the first contract traded on the NYMEX due to expire after the near month contract. UNG seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing so that the average daily percentage change in UNG’s NAV for any period of 30 successive valuation days will be within plus/minus ten percent (10)% of the average daily percentage changes in the price of the Benchmark Futures Contract over the same period.

UNG’s investment objective is not for its NAV or market price of shares to equal, in dollar terms, the spot price of natural gas or any particular futures contract based on natural gas, nor is UNG’s investment objective for the percentage change in its NAV to reflect the percentage change of the price of any particular futures contract as measured over a time period greater than one day. The general partner of UNG, United States Commodity Funds LLC (“USCF”), believes that it is not practical to manage the portfolio to achieve such an investment goal when investing in Natural Gas Futures Contracts (as defined below) and Other Natural Gas-Related Investments (as defined below).

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UNG invests primarily in futures contracts for natural gas, crude oil, heating oil, gasoline and other petroleum-based fuels that are traded on the NYMEX, ICE Futures or other U.S. and foreign exchanges (collectively, “Natural Gas Futures Contracts”) and to a lesser extent, in order to comply with regulatory requirements or in view of market conditions, other natural gas-related investments such as cash-settled options on Natural Gas Futures Contracts, forward contracts for natural gas, cleared swap contracts and OTC swaps that are based on the price of natural gas, crude oil and other petroleum-based fuels, Natural Gas Futures Contracts and indices based on the foregoing (collectively, “Other Natural Gas-Related Investments”). For convenience and unless otherwise specified, Natural Gas Futures Contracts and Other Natural Gas-Related Investments collectively are referred to as “Natural Gas Interests” in this quarterly report on Form 10-Q.

USCF believes that market arbitrage opportunities will cause daily changes in UNG’s share price on the NYSE Arca on a percentage basis to closely track daily changes in UNG’s per share NAV on a percentage basis. USCF further believes that daily changes in prices of the Benchmark Futures Contract have historically closely tracked the daily changes in spot prices of natural gas. USCF believes that the net effect of these relationships will be that the daily changes in the price of UNG’s shares on the NYSE Arca on a percentage basis will closely track the daily changes in the spot price of natural gas on a percentage basis, plus interest earned on UNG’s collateral holdings, less UNG’s expenses.

Regulatory Disclosure

The regulation of commodity interest trading in the United States and other countries is an evolving area of the law. Below are certain key regulatory requirements that are, or may be, relevant to UNG. The various statements made in this summary are subject to modification by legislative action and changes in the rules and regulations of the SEC, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), CFTC, NFA, the futures exchanges, clearing organizations and other regulatory bodies. Pending final resolution of all applicable regulatory requirements, some examples of how new rules and regulations could impact UNG are discussed in “Item 1. Business” in this quarterly report on Form 10-Q.

Exchange Accountability Levels, Position Limits and Price Fluctuation Limits. Designated contract markets (“DCMs”), such as the NYMEX and ICE Futures, have established accountability levels and position limits on the maximum net long or net short futures contracts in commodity interests that any person or group of persons under common trading control (other than as a hedge, which an investment by UNG is not) may hold, own or control. These levels and position limits apply to the futures contracts that UNG invests in to meet its investment objective. In addition to accountability levels and position limits, the NYMEX and ICE Futures also set daily price fluctuation limits on futures contracts. The daily price fluctuation limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price. Once the daily price fluctuation limit has been reached in a particular futures contract, no trades may be made at a price beyond that limit.

The accountability levels for the Benchmark Futures Contract and other Natural Gas Futures Contracts traded on U.S.-based futures exchanges, such as the NYMEX, are not a fixed ceiling, but rather a threshold above which the NYMEX may exercise greater scrutiny and control over an investor’s positions. The current accountability level for investments for any one-month in the Benchmark Futures Contract is 6,000 net contracts. In addition, the NYMEX imposes an accountability level for all months of 12,000 net futures contracts for natural gas. In addition, the ICE Futures maintains accountability levels, position limits and monitoring authority for its Henry Hub natural gas contracts. If UNG and the other Related Public Funds exceed these accountability levels for investments in the futures contracts for natural gas, the NYMEX and ICE Futures will monitor such exposure and may ask for further information on their activities including the total size of all positions, investment and trading strategy, and the extent of liquidity resources of UNG and the other Related Public Funds. If deemed necessary by the NYMEX and/or ICE Futures, UNG could be ordered to reduce its aggregate net futures contracts back to the accountability level. As of September 30, 2023, UNG held 28,479 NYMEX Natural Gas Futures NG contracts and did not hold any Natural Gas Futures Contracts traded on the ICE Futures. UNG exceeded accountability levels of the NYMEX during the nine months ended September 30, 2023, including when it held a maximum of 46,245 Natural Gas Futures NG contracts, on the NYMEX, exceeding the “any” month limit. No action was taken by the NYMEX and UNG did not reduce any positions held.

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Position limits differ from accountability levels in that they represent fixed limits on the maximum number of futures contracts that any person may hold and cannot allow such limits to be exceeded without express CFTC authority to do so. In addition to accountability levels and position limits that may apply at any time, the NYMEX and ICE Futures impose position limits on contracts held in the last few days of trading in the near month contract to expire. It is unlikely that UNG will run up against such position limits because UNG’s investment strategy is to close out its positions and “roll” from the near month contract to expire to the next month contract during a four-day period beginning two weeks from expiration of the contract. For the nine months ended September 30, 2023, UNG did not exceed any position limits imposed by the NYMEX and ICE Futures.

Federal Position Limits

Part 150 of the CFTC’s regulations (the “Position Limits Rule”) establishes federal position limits for 25 core referenced futures contracts (comprised of agricultural, energy and metals futures contracts), futures and options linked to the core referenced futures contracts, and swaps that are economically equivalent to the core referenced futures contracts that all market participants must comply with, with certain exemptions. The Benchmark Futures Contract is subject to position limits under the Position Limits Rule, and UNG’s trading does not qualify for an exemption therefrom. Accordingly, the Position Limits Rule could inhibit UNG’s ability to invest in the Benchmark Futures Contract and thereby could negatively impact the ability of UNG to meet its investment objective.

Margin for OTC Swaps

Rules put in place by U.S. federal banking regulators, the CFTC and the SEC require the daily exchange of variation margin and initial margin for swaps between swap dealers, major swap participants, security-based swap dealers, and major security-based swap participants (“Swap Entities”) and swaps between Swap Entities and their counterparties that are “financial end-users” (such rules, the “Margin Rules”). The Margin Rules require Swap Entities to exchange variation margin with all of their counterparties who are financial end-users. The minimum variation margin amount is the daily mark-to-market change in the value of the swap, taking into account the amount of variation margin previously posted or collected. Swap Entities are required to exchange initial margin with their financial end-users who have “material swaps exposure” (i.e., an average daily aggregate notional of $8 billion or more in non-cleared swaps calculated in accordance with the Margin Rules). The Margin Rules specify the types of collateral that may be posted or collected as initial margin or variation margin (generally cash, certain government, government-sponsored enterprise securities, certain liquid debt, certain equity securities, certain eligible publicly traded debt, and gold) and sets forth haircuts for certain collateral asset classes.

UNG is not a Swap Entity under the Margin Rules, but it is a financial end-user. Accordingly, UNG will be subject to the variation margin requirements of the Margin Rules for any swaps that it enters into. However, UNG does not have material swaps exposure under the Margin Rules and, accordingly, UNG will not be subject to the initial margin requirements of the Margin Rules.

Mandatory Trading and Clearing of Swaps

CFTC regulations require that certain swap transactions be executed on organized exchanges or “swap execution facilities” and cleared through regulated clearing organizations (“derivative clearing organizations” (“DCOs”)), if the CFTC mandates the central clearing of a particular class of swap and such swap is “made available to trade” on a swap execution facility. Currently, swap dealers, major swap participants, commodity pools, certain private funds and entities predominantly engaged in activities that are financial in nature are required to execute on a swap execution facility, and clear, certain interest rate swaps and index-based credit default swaps. As a result, if UNG enters into an interest rate or index-based credit default swap that is subject to these requirements, such swap will be required to be executed on a swap execution facility and centrally cleared. Mandatory clearing and “made available to trade” determinations with respect to additional types of swaps may be issued in the future, and, when finalized, could require UNG to electronically execute and centrally clear certain OTC instruments presently entered into and settled on a bi-lateral basis. If a swap is required to be cleared, initial and variation margin requirements are set by the relevant clearing organization, subject to certain regulatory requirements and guidelines. Additional margin may be required and held by UNG’s FCMs.

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Other Requirements for Swaps

In addition to the margin requirements described above, swaps that are not required to be cleared and executed on a SEF but that are executed bilaterally are also subject to various requirements pursuant to CFTC regulations, including, among other things, reporting and recordkeeping requirements and, depending on the status of the counterparties, trading documentation requirements and dispute resolution requirements.

Derivatives Regulations in Non-U.S. Jurisdictions

In addition to U.S. laws and regulations, UNG may be subject to non-U.S. derivatives laws and regulations if it engages in futures and/or swap transactions with non-U.S. persons. For example, UNG may be impacted by European laws and regulations to the extent that it engages in futures transactions on European exchanges or derivatives transactions with European entities. Other jurisdictions impose requirements applicable to futures and derivatives that are similar to those imposed by the U.S., including position limits, margin, clearing and trade execution requirements.

The CFTC is generally prohibited by statute from regulating trading on non-U.S. futures exchanges and markets. The CFTC, however, has adopted regulations relating to the marketing of non-U.S. futures contracts in the United States. These regulations permit certain contracts on non-U.S. exchanges to be offered and sold in the United States.

Infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19 could negatively affect the valuation and performance of UNG’s investments.

An outbreak of infectious respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 was first detected in China in December 2019 and spread globally.

In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. COVID-19 resulted in numerous deaths, travel restrictions, closed international borders, enhanced health screenings at ports of entry and elsewhere, disruption of and delays in healthcare service preparation and delivery, prolonged quarantines and the imposition of both local and more widespread “work from home” measures, cancellations, loss of employment, supply chain disruptions, and lower consumer and institutional demand for goods and services, as well as general concern and uncertainty. The spread of COVID-19 had a material adverse impact on local economies in the affected jurisdictions and also on the global economy, as cross border commercial activity and market sentiment were impacted by the outbreak and government and other measures seeking to contain its spread. COVID-19 had a material adverse impact on the crude oil markets and oil futures markets to the extent economic activity and the use of crude oil continues to be curtailed, which in turn had a significant adverse effect on the prices of Natural Gas Futures Contracts, including the Benchmark Futures Contract, and Other Natural Gas-Related Contracts.

Infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19 may arise in the future and could adversely affect individual issuers and capital markets in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. In addition, actions taken by government and quasi-governmental authorities and regulators throughout the world in response to such an outbreak, including the potential for significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, may affect the value, volatility, pricing and liquidity of some investments or other assets, including those held by or invested in by UNG. Public health crises caused by infectious disease outbreaks may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks in certain countries or globally and their duration cannot be determined with certainty.

In a rising rate environment, UNG may not be able to fully invest at prevailing rates until any current investments in Treasury Bills mature in order to avoid selling those investments at a loss.

When interest rates rise, the value of fixed income securities typically falls. In a rising interest rate environment, UNG may not be able to fully invest at prevailing rates until any current investments in Treasury Bills mature in order to avoid selling those investments at a loss. Interest rate risk is generally lower for shorter term investments and higher for longer term investments. The risk to UNG of rising interest rates may be greater in the future due to the end of a long period of historically low rates, the effect of potential monetary policy initiatives, including actions taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other foreign equivalents to curb inflation, and resulting market reaction to those initiatives. When interest rates fall, UNG may be required to reinvest the proceeds from the sale, redemption or early prepayment of a Treasury Bill or money market security at a lower interest rate.

22

UNG may potentially lose money by investing in government money market funds.

UNG invests in government money market funds. Although such government money market funds seek to preserve the value of an investment at $1.00 per share, there is no guarantee that they will be able to do so and UNG may lose money by investing in a government money market fund. An investment in a government money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”), or any other government agency. The share price of a government money market fund can fall below the $1.00 share price. UNG cannot rely on or expect a government money market fund’s adviser or its affiliates to enter into support agreements or take other actions to maintain the government money market fund’s $1.00 share price. The credit quality of a government money market fund’s holdings can change rapidly in certain markets, and the default of a single holding could have an adverse impact on the government money market fund’s share price. Due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of securities held by a government money market fund may vary. A government money market fund’s share price can also be negatively affected during periods of high redemption pressures and/or illiquid markets.

Price Movements

Natural gas futures prices were volatile during the nine months ended September 30, 2023. The price of the Benchmark Futures Contract started the period at $4.475 per million British thermal shares (“MMBtu”). The high of the period was on December 30, 2022 when the price reached $4.475per MMBtu. The low of the period was on April 6, 2023 when the price dropped to $2.011 per MMBtu. The period ended with the Benchmark Futures Contract at $2.929 per MMBtu, a decrease of approximately (34.55)% over the period. UNG’s per share NAV began the period at $14.22 and ended the period at $6.81 on September 30, 2023, a decrease of approximately (52.11)% over the period. The Benchmark Futures Contract prices listed above began with the February 2023 contracts and ended with the October 2023 contracts. The decrease of approximately (34.55)% on the Benchmark Futures Contract listed above is a hypothetical return only and would not actually be realized by an investor holding Natural Gas Futures Contracts. An investment in Natural Gas Futures Contracts would need to be rolled forward during the time period described in order to simulate such a result. Furthermore, the change in the nominal price of these differing Natural Gas Futures Contracts, measured from the start of the period to the end of the period, does not represent the actual benchmark results that UNG seeks to track, which are more fully described below in the section titled “Tracking UNG’s Benchmark.”

During the nine months ended September 30, 2023, the natural gas futures market was in a state of contango. When the market was in a state of contango, the near month natural gas futures contract is lower than the price of the next month natural gas futures contract, or contracts further away from expiration. During periods of backwardation the near month natural gas futures contract is higher than the price of the next month natural gas futures contract, or contracts further away from expiration. For a discussion of the impact of backwardation and contango on total returns, see “Term Structure of Natural Gas Futures Prices and the Impact on Total Returns” below.

Valuation of Futures Contracts and the Computation of the Per Share NAV

The per share NAV of UNG’s shares is calculated once each NYSE Arca trading day. The per share NAV for a particular trading day is released after 4:00 p.m. New York time. Trading during the core trading session on the NYSE Arca typically closes at 4:00 p.m. New York time. UNG’s administrator uses the NYMEX closing price (determined at the earlier of the close of the NYMEX or 2:30 p.m. New York time) for the contracts held on the NYMEX, but calculates or determines the value of all other UNG investments, including cleared swaps or other futures contracts, as of the earlier of the close of the NYSE Arca or 4:00 p.m. New York time.

Results of Operations and the Natural Gas Market

Results of Operations. On April 18, 2007, UNG listed its shares on the AMEX under the ticker symbol “UNG.” On that day, UNG established its initial offering price at $50.00 per share and issued 200,000 shares to the initial Authorized Participant in exchange for $10,000,000 in cash. As a result of the acquisition of the AMEX by NYSE Euronext, UNG’s shares ceased trading on the AMEX and commenced trading on the NYSE Arca on November 25, 2008.

As of September 30, 2023, UNG had issued 2,598,900,000 shares, 169,784,588 of which were outstanding. On April 26, 2022, the SEC declared effective a registration statement filed by UNG that registered an unlimited number of shares. As a result, UNG has an unlimited number of shares that can be issued in the form of Creation Baskets. More shares may have been issued by UNG than are outstanding due to the redemption of shares.

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As of September 30, 2023, UNG had the following Authorized Participants: ABN AMRO Clearing USA LLC, BNP Paribas Securities Corp., Citadel Securities LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Credit Suisse Securities USA LLC, Goldman Sachs & Company, JP Morgan Securities Inc., Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp., Morgan Stanley & Company Inc., RBC Capital Markets LLC, SG Americas Securities LLC, UBS Securities LLC and Virtu Americas LLC.

For the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2023 Compared to the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2022

Nine months ended

Nine months ended

 

    

September 30, 2023

    

September 30, 2022

 

Average daily total net assets

$

1,048,128,160

$

462,312,289

Dividend and interest income earned on Treasuries, cash and/or cash equivalents

$

34,568,118

$

3,279,762

Annualized yield based on average daily total net assets

 

4.41

%  

 

0.95

%

Management fee

$

4,703,655

$

2,074,706

Total fees and other expenses excluding management fees

$

3,324,616

$

1,502,948

Total commissions accrued to brokers

$

2,175,234

$

523,328

Total commissions as annualized percentage of average total net assets

 

0.28

%  

 

0.15

%

Portfolio Expenses. UNG’s expenses consist of investment management fees, brokerage fees and commissions, certain offering costs, licensing fees, registration fees, the fees and expenses of the independent directors of USCF and expenses relating to tax accounting and reporting requirements. The management fee that UNG pays to USCF is calculated as a percentage of the total net assets of UNG. The fee is accrued daily and paid monthly.

Average interest rates earned on short-term investments held by UNG, including cash, cash equivalents and Treasuries, were higher during the nine months ended September 30, 2023, compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2022. As a result, the amount of income earned by UNG as a percentage of average daily total net assets was higher during the nine months ended September 30, 2023, compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2022. To the degree that the aggregate yield is higher the net expense ratio will be lower.

The increase in total fees and other expenses excluding management fees for the nine months ended September 30, 2023, compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2022, was due primarily to an increase in total commissions accrued to brokers and fees and expenses related to the registration or offering of additional shares.

The increase in total commissions accrued to brokers for the nine months ended September 30, 2023, compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2022, was due primarily to a higher number of Natural Gas Futures Contracts being held and traded.

For the Three Months Ended September 30, 2023 Compared to the Three Months Ended September 30, 2022

Three months ended

Three months ended

    

September 30, 2023

    

September 30, 2022

Average daily total net assets

$

1,116,764,866

$

534,235,596

Dividend and interest income earned on Treasuries, cash and/or cash equivalents

$

13,245,143

$

2,583,432

Annualized yield based on average daily total net assets

4.71

%  

1.92

%

Management fee

$

1,688,916

$

807,940

Total fees and other expenses excluding management fees

$

961,315

$

631,040

Expenses after the allowance of the expense waiver

$

2,650,231

$

1,438,980

Total commissions accrued to brokers

$

582,817

$

155,282

Total commissions as annualized percentage of average total net assets

0.21

%  

0.12

%

Portfolio Expenses. UNG’s expenses consist of investment management fees, brokerage fees and commissions, certain offering costs, licensing fees, registration fees, the fees and expenses of the independent directors of USCF and expenses relating to tax accounting and reporting requirements. The management fee that UNG pays to USCF is calculated as a percentage of the total net assets of UNG. The fee is accrued daily and paid monthly.

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Average interest rates earned on short-term investments held by UNG, including cash, cash equivalents and Treasuries, were higher during the three months ended September 30, 2023, compared to the three months ended September 30, 2022. As a result, the amount of income earned by UNG as a percentage of average daily total net assets was higher during the three months ended September 30, 2023, compared to the three months ended September 30, 2022. To the degree that the aggregate yield is higher the net expense ratio will be lower.

The increase in total fees and other expenses excluding management fees for the three months ended September 30, 2023, compared to the three months ended September 30, 2022, was due primarily to an increase in total commissions accrued to brokers and fees and expenses related to the registration or offering of additional shares.

The increase in total commissions accrued to brokers for the three months ended September 30, 2023, compared to the three months ended September 30, 2022, was due primarily to a higher number of Natural Gas Futures Contracts being held and traded.

Tracking UNG’s Benchmark

USCF seeks to manage UNG’s portfolio such that changes in its average daily per share NAV, on a percentage basis, closely track the daily changes in the average price of the Benchmark Futures Contract, also on a percentage basis. Specifically, USCF seeks to manage the portfolio such that over any rolling period of 30-valuation days, the average daily change in UNG’s per share NAV is within a range of 90% to 110% (0.9 to 1.1) of the average daily change in the price of the Benchmark Futures Contract. As an example, if the average daily movement of the price of the Benchmark Futures Contract for a particular 30-valuation daytime period was 0.50% per day, USCF would attempt to manage the portfolio such that the average daily movement of the per share NAV during that same time period fell between 0.45% and 0.55% (i.e., between 0.9 and 1.1 of the benchmark’s results). UNG’s portfolio management goals do not include trying to make the nominal price of UNG’s per share NAV equal to the nominal price of the current Benchmark Futures Contract or the spot price for natural gas. USCF believes that it is not practical to manage the portfolio to achieve such an investment goal when investing in Natural Gas Futures Contracts and Other Natural Gas-Related Investments.

For the 30-valuation days ended September 30, 2023, the average daily change in the Benchmark Futures Contract was (0.104)%, while the average daily change in the per share NAV of UNG over the same time period was (0.088)%. The average daily difference was 0.016% (or 1.6 basis points, where 1 basis point equals 1/100 of 1)%, meaning that over this time period UNG’s NAV performed within the plus or minus 10% range established as its benchmark tracking goal.

Since the commencement of the offering of UNG’s shares to the public on April 18, 2007 to September 30, 2023, the average daily change in the Benchmark Futures Contract was (0.081)%, while the average daily change in the per share NAV of UNG over the same time period was (0.082)%. The average daily difference was (0.001)% (or (0.1) basis points, where 1 basis point equals 1/100 of 1%), meaning that over this time period UNG’s NAV performed was within the plus or minus 10 percent range established as its benchmark tracking goal.

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The following two charts demonstrate the correlation between the changes in UNG’s NAV and the changes in the Benchmark Futures Contract. The first chart below shows the daily movement of UNG’s per share NAV versus the daily movement of the Benchmark Futures Contract for the 30 valuation day period ended September 30, 2023, the last trading day in September. The second chart below shows the monthly total returns of UNG as compared to the monthly value of the Benchmark Futures Contract for the five years ended September 30, 2023.

*PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS

Graphic

*PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS

Graphic

An alternative tracking measurement of the return performance of UNG versus the return of its Benchmark Futures Contract can be calculated by comparing the actual return of UNG, measured by changes in its per share NAV, versus the expected changes in its per share NAV under the assumption that UNG’s returns had been exactly the same as the daily changes in its Benchmark Futures Contract.

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For the nine months ended September 30, 2023, the actual total return of UNG as measured by changes in its per share NAV was (52.11)%. This is based on an initial per share NAV of $14.22 as of December 31, 2022 and an ending per share NAV as of September 30, 2023 of $6.81. During this time period, UNG made no distributions to its shareholders. However, if UNG’s daily changes in its per share NAV had instead exactly tracked the changes in the daily total return of the Benchmark Futures Contract, UNG would have had an estimated per share NAV of $6.64 as of September 30, 2023, for a total return over the relevant time period of (53.31)%. The difference between the actual per share NAV total return of UNG of (52.11)% and the expected total return based on the Benchmark Futures Contract of (53.31)% was an error over the time period of 1.20%, which is to say that UNG’s actual total return outperformed its benchmark by that percentage. UNG incurs expenses primarily composed of the management fee, brokerage commissions for the buying and selling of futures contracts, and other expenses. The impact of these expenses, offset by interest and dividend income, and net of positive or negative execution, tends to cause daily changes in the per share NAV of UNG to track slightly lower or higher than daily changes in the price of the Benchmark Futures Contract.

By comparison, for the nine months ended September 30, 2022, the actual total return of UNG as measured by changes in its per share NAV was 87.89%. This was based on an initial per share NAV of $12.39 as of December 31, 2021 and an ending per share NAV as of September 30, 2022 of $23.28. During this time period, UNG made no distributions to its shareholders. However, if UNG’s daily changes in its per share NAV had instead exactly tracked the changes in the daily total return of the Benchmark Futures Contract, UNG would have had an estimated per share NAV of $23.31 as of September 30, 2022, for a total return over the relevant time period of 88.14%. The difference between the actual per share NAV total return of UNG of 87.89% and the expected total return based on the Benchmark Futures Contract of 88.14% was a difference over the time period of (0.25)%, which is to say that UNG’s actual total return underperformed its benchmark by that percentage. UNG incurred expenses primarily composed of the management fee, brokerage commissions for the buying and selling of futures contracts, and other expenses. The impact of these expenses, offset by interest and dividend income, and net of positive or negative execution, tended to cause daily changes in the per share NAV of UNG to track slightly lower or higher than daily changes in the price of the Benchmark Futures Contract.

There are currently three factors that have impacted or are most likely to impact UNG’s ability to accurately track Benchmark Futures Contract.

First, UNG may buy or sell its holdings in the then current Benchmark Futures Contract at a price other than the closing settlement price of that contract on the day during which UNG executes the trade. In that case, UNG may pay a price that is higher, or lower, than that of the Benchmark Futures Contract, which could cause the changes in the daily per share NAV of UNG to either be too high or too low relative to the daily changes in the Benchmark Futures Contract. During the nine months ended September 30, 2023, USCF attempted to minimize the effect of these transactions by seeking to execute its purchase or sale of the Benchmark Futures Contract at, or as close as possible to, the end of the day settlement price. However, it may not always be possible for UNG to obtain the closing settlement price and there is no assurance that failure to obtain the closing settlement price in the future will not adversely impact UNG’s attempt to track the Benchmark Futures Contract.

Second, UNG incurs expenses primarily composed of the management fee, brokerage commissions for the buying and selling of futures contracts, and other expenses. The impact of these expenses tends to cause daily changes in the per share NAV of UNG to track slightly lower than daily changes in the price of the Benchmark Futures Contract. At the same time, UNG earns dividend and interest income on its cash, cash equivalents and Treasuries. UNG is not required to distribute any portion of its income to its shareholders and did not make any distributions to shareholders during the nine months ended September 30, 2023. Interest payments, and any other income, were retained within the portfolio and added to UNG’s NAV. When this income exceeds the level of UNG’s expenses for its management fee, brokerage commissions and other expenses (including ongoing registration fees, licensing fees and the fees and expenses of the independent directors of USCF), UNG will realize a net yield that will tend to cause daily changes in the per share NAV of UNG to track slightly higher than daily changes in the Benchmark Futures Contract. If short-term interest rates rise above these levels, the level of deviation created by the yield would increase. Conversely, if short-term interest rates were to decline, the amount of error created by the yield would decrease. When short-term yields drop to a level lower than the combined expenses of the management fee and the brokerage commissions, then the tracking error becomes a negative number and would tend to cause the daily returns of the per share NAV to underperform the daily returns of the Benchmark Futures Contract. USCF anticipates that interest rates may continue to rise over the near future from historical lows. It is anticipated that fees and expenses paid by UNG may continue to be lower than interest earned by UNG. As such, USCF anticipates that UNG could possibly outperform its benchmark so long as interest earned is is higher than the fees and expenses paid by UNG.

27

Third, UNG may hold Other Natural Gas-Related Investments in its portfolio that may fail to closely track the Benchmark Futures Contract’s total return movements. In that case, the error in tracking the Benchmark Futures Contract could result in daily changes in the per share NAV of UNG that are either too high, or too low, relative to the daily changes in the Benchmark Futures Contract. During the nine months ended September 30, 2023, UNG also held investments in Natural Gas Futures Contracts traded on the ICE Futures whose settlement price also tracks the settlement price of the Benchmark Futures Contract and fully-collateralized OTC swaps designed to track the settlement price of the Benchmark Futures Contract. UNG invests in Other Natural Gas-Related Investments, such as OTC swaps, which have increased transaction-related expenses and may result in increased tracking error. OTC swaps increase transaction-related expenses due to the fact that UNG must pay to the swap counterparty certain fees that UNG does not have to pay for transactions executed on an exchange.

Finally, due to potential regulatory limitations, UNG may determine to hold greater amounts of cash and cash equivalents and lesser amounts of Natural Gas Interests, if it determines that will most appropriately satisfy UNG’s investment objective. Holding more cash and cash equivalents and less Natural Gas Interests for some period of time may result in increased tracking error. There are additional Other Natural Gas-Related Investments that UNG is permitted to invest in whose price movements may not track the settlement price of the Benchmark Futures Contract.

Term Structure of Natural Gas Futures Prices and the Impact on Total Returns. Several factors determine the total return from investing in futures contracts. One factor arises from “rolling” futures contracts that will expire at the end of the current month (the “near” or “front” month contract) forward each month prior to expiration. For a strategy that entails holding the near month contract, the price relationship between that futures contract and the next month futures contract will impact returns. For example, if the price of the near month futures contract is higher than the next futures month contract (a situation referred to as “backwardation”), then absent any other change, the price of a next month futures contract tends to rise in value as it becomes the near month futures contract and approaches expiration. Conversely, if the price of a near month futures contract is lower than the next month futures contract (a situation referred to as “contango”), then absent any other change, the price of a next month futures contract tends to decline in value as it becomes the near month futures contract and approaches expiration.

As an example, assume that the price of natural gas for immediate delivery, is $3 per MMBtu, and the value of a position in the near month futures contract is also $3. Over time, the price of natural gas will fluctuate based on a number of market factors, including demand for natural gas relative to supply. The value of the near month futures contract will likewise fluctuate in reaction to a number of market factors. If an investor seeks to maintain a position in a near month futures contract and not take delivery of physical MMBtu of natural gas, the investor must sell the current near month futures contract as it approaches expiration and invest in the next month futures contract. In order to continue holding a position in the current near month futures contract, this “roll” forward of the futures contract must be executed every month.

Contango and backwardation are natural market forces that have impacted the total return on an investment in UNG’s shares during the past year relative to a hypothetical direct investment in natural gas. In the future, it is likely that the relationship between the market price of UNG’s shares and changes in the spot prices of natural gas will continue to be impacted by contango and backwardation. It is important to note that this comparison ignores the potential costs associated with physically owning and storing natural gas, which could be substantial.

If the futures market is in backwardation, e.g., when the price of the near month futures contract is higher than the price of the next month futures contract, the investor would buy a next month futures contract for a lower price than the current near month futures contract. Assuming the price of the next month futures contract was $2.94 per MMBtu, or 2% cheaper than the $3 near month futures contract, then, hypothetically, and assuming no other changes (e.g., to either prevailing natural gas prices or the price relationship between the spot price, the near month contract and the next month contract, and, ignoring the impact of commission costs and the income earned on cash and/or cash equivalents), the value of the $2.94 next month futures contract would rise to $3 as it approaches expiration. In this example, the value of an investment in the next month futures contract would tend to outperform the spot price of natural gas. As a result, it would be possible for the new near month futures contract to rise 12% while the spot price of natural gas may have risen a lower amount, e.g., only 10 percent. Similarly, the spot price of natural gas could have fallen 10 percent while the value of an investment in the futures contract might have fallen another amount, e.g., only 8%. Over time, if backwardation remained constant, this difference between the spot price and the futures contract price would continue to increase.

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If the futures market is in contango, an investor would be buying a next month futures contract for a higher price than the current near month futures contract. Again, assuming the near month futures contract is $3 per MMBtu, the price of the next month futures contract might be $3.06 per MMBtu, or 2% more expensive than the front month futures contract. Hypothetically, and assuming no other changes, the value of the $3.06 next month futures contract would fall to $3 as it approaches expiration. In this example, the value of an investment in the second month would tend to underperform the spot price of natural gas. As a result, it would be possible for the new near month futures contract to rise only 10 percent while the spot price of natural gas may have risen a higher amount, e.g., 12%. Similarly, the spot price of natural gas could have fallen 10 percent while the value of an investment in the second month futures contract might have fallen another amount, e.g., 12%. Over time, if contango remained constant, this difference between the spot price and the futures contract price would continue to increase.

The chart below compares the daily price of the near month natural gas futures contract to the price of the 13th month natural gas futures contract (i.e., a contract one year forward) over the last 10 years. When the price of the near month futures contract is higher than the price of the 13th month futures contract, the market would be described as being in backwardation. When the price of the near month futures contract is lower than the 13th month futures contract, the market would be described as being in contango. Although the price of the near month futures contract and the price of the 13th month futures contract tend to move together, it can be seen that at times the near month futures contract prices are higher than the 13th month futures contract prices (backwardation) and, at other times, the near month futures contract prices are lower than the 13th month futures contract prices (contango).

*PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS

Graphic

An alternative way to view the same data is to subtract the dollar price of the 13th month natural gas futures contract from the dollar price of the near month natural gas futures contract, as shown in the chart below. When the difference is positive, the market is in backwardation. When the difference is negative, the market is in contango. The natural gas market spent time in both backwardation and contango during the last ten years. The chart below shows the results from subtracting the average dollar price of the near 12-month contracts from the near month price for the 10-year period between September 30, 2013 and September 30, 2023. Investors will note that the natural gas market spent time in both backwardation and contango.

29

*PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS

Graphic

An investment in a portfolio that owned only the near month natural gas futures contract would likely produce a different result than an investment in a portfolio that owned an equal number of each of the near 12 months of natural gas futures contracts. Generally speaking, when the natural gas futures market is in backwardation, a portfolio of only the near month natural gas futures contract may tend to have a higher total return than a portfolio of 12 months of the natural gas futures contract. Conversely, if the natural gas futures market was in contango, the portfolio containing only 12 months of natural gas futures contracts may tend to outperform the portfolio holding only the near month natural gas futures contract.

Historically, the natural gas futures markets have experienced periods of contango and backwardation. Because natural gas demand is seasonal, it is possible for the price of natural gas futures contracts for delivery within one or two months to rapidly move from backwardation into contango and back again within the relatively short period of time of less than one year. The Russian invasion and related developments have placed upward pressure on the price of the Benchmark Futures Contract. As a result, near to expire contracts trade at a higher price than longer to expire contracts, a situation referred to as “backwardation.” There can be no assurance that the current period of backwardation will continue or how long it may continue.

Periods of contango or backwardation do not materially impact UNG’s investment objective of having the daily percentage changes in its per share NAV track the daily percentage changes in the price of the Benchmark Futures Contract since the impact of backwardation and contango tend to equally impact the daily percentage changes in price of both UNG’s shares and the Benchmark Futures Contract. It is impossible to predict with any degree of certainty whether backwardation or contango will occur in the future. It is likely that both conditions will occur during different periods and, because of the seasonal nature of natural gas demand, both may occur within a single year’s time.

30

Natural Gas Market. During the nine months ended September 30, 2023, the price of the front month natural gas futures contract traded in a range between $1.991 and $4.475. Prices decreased (34.55)% from December 31, 2022 through September 30, 2023, finishing the quarter at $2.929. The number of rigs dedicated to natural gas production fell from 156 at the start of the year to 116 by the end of the quarter. Natural Gas stored in the United States stood at 3,445 billion cubic feet as of September 30, 2023, about 11.6% higher than the same time last year. While both domestic demand and U.S. exports of natural gas have generally increased over the last five years, a milder-than-forecast winter in Europe contributed to a steep reversion in prices from 2022, when the market expected natural gas shortages in parts of Europe as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war. A mild winter in parts of the U.S. as well as a decline in demand for industrial use also contributed to price declines during the first quarter of 2023. Reduced demand led to an increasing amount of natural gas in storage relative to prior years. In the third quarter of 2023, this surplus relative to prior years slightly decreased, which led to an increase in prices.

Natural gas prices in the United States have historically been driven by domestic supply and demand. Natural gas also exhibits seasonal patterns whereby both production and end-user demand increase in autumn and winter months. The U.S. possesses abundant sources of natural gas. The robust ability of the U.S. energy industry to meet demand constrained natural gas prices over the previous decade and could lead to price constraints again in the future except during periods of extreme temperatures. In recent years, natural gas exports have increased, including liquid natural gas (LNG) exported to Europe. Rising international demand has had and will continue to have a growing impact on natural gas prices in the United States. This is especially true given that the United States is rapidly building, but does not currently possess, the infrastructure necessary to meet all international demand. While domestic supply and demand are likely to remain the dominant influence on prices in the long term, international demand and extraordinary international events will have a growing influence on price volatility and price direction.

The Russia-Ukraine war caused dramatic changes in natural gas supply-demand dynamics in Europe. The Russian invasion led the European Union to declare it would reduce its dependance on Russian fossil fuels and phase imports out completely as soon as possible. Russia, in turn, slowed pipelines and cutoff supplies, ultimately reducing its natural gas supplied to Europe by more than 50% since the onset of the war. Uncertainty is sure to persist as the reconfiguration of natural gas supply chains and an accelerated push for alternative sources of energy, including energy from renewables, continues. These changes are likely to contribute to U.S. natural gas price volatility. Substantial price changes, such as those seen in 2022 and 2023, cannot be ruled out. It is also possible that markets have seen the most severe shocks from the Russian invasion and that further price swings could be less severe in magnitude.

Of course, many factors impact natural gas prices, and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war must be balanced with other potential events, such as extreme weather, political unrest, attacks or threats of attack by terrorists, conflicts in the Middle East, or the potential for infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19 and responses to such an outbreak.

Natural Gas Price Movements in Comparison to Other Energy Commodities and Investment Categories. USCF believes that investors frequently measure the degree to which prices or total returns of one investment or asset class move up or down in value in concert with another investment or asset class. Statistically, such a measure is usually done by measuring the correlation of the price movements of the two different investments or asset classes over some period of time. The correlation is scaled between 1 and -1, where 1 indicates that the two investment options move up or down in price or value together, known as “positive correlation,” and -1 indicates that they move in completely opposite directions, known as “negative correlation.” A correlation of 0 would mean that the movements of the two are neither positively nor negatively correlated, known as “non-correlation.” That is, the investment options sometimes move up and down together and other times move in opposite directions.

For the ten-year time period between September 30, 2013 and September 30, 2023, the table below compares the monthly movements of natural gas prices versus the monthly movements of the prices of several other energy commodities, such as crude oil, diesel-heating oil, and unleaded gasoline, as well as several major non-commodity investment asset classes, such as large cap U.S. equities, U.S. government bonds and global equities. It can be seen that over this particular time period, the movement of natural gas on a monthly basis was neither strongly correlated nor inversely correlated with the movements of large cap U.S. equities, U.S. Government bonds, global equities, crude oil, diesel-heating oil, or unleaded gasoline.

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*PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS

Natural Gas - 10 Years

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

Large Cap US 

US Gov’t Bonds 

Global Equities 

Crude 

Heating

Unleaded

Natural

Correlation Matrix 10 Years

 

Equities (S&P 500)

 

(BEUSG4 Index)

 

(FTSE World Index)

Oil

 

Oil

 

Gasoline

Gas

Large Cap US Equities (S&P 500)

 

1.000

 

0.032

 

0.977

 

0.367

 

0.220

 

0.477

 

0.150

US Gov’t Bonds (BEUSG4 Index)

 

  

 

1.000

 

0.035

 

(0.264)

 

(0.408)

 

(0.209)

 

(0.136)

Global Equities (FTSE World Index)

 

  

 

  

 

1.000

 

0.424

 

0.271

 

0.528

 

0.112

Crude Oil

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

1.000

 

0.741

 

0.750

 

0.063

Heating Oil

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

1.000

 

0.642

 

0.120

Unleaded Gasoline

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

1.000

 

0.095

Natural Gas

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

1.000

Source: Bloomberg, NYMEX

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

The table below covers a more recent, but much shorter, range of dates than the above table. Over the one year period ended September 30, 2023, the movement of natural gas was strongly correlated with large cap U.S. equities, U.S. government bonds, global equities, crude oil, diesel-heating oil, and unleaded gasoline.

*PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS

Natural Gas - 1 Year

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

Large Cap US

US Gov’t Bonds

Global Equities

Crude

Heating

Unleaded

Natural

Correlation Matrix 1 Year

 

Equities (S&P 500)

 

(BEUSG4 Index)

 

(FTSE World Index)

 

Oil

 

Oil

 

Gasoline

Gas

Large Cap US Equities (S&P 500)

 

1.000

 

0.654

 

0.981

 

0.304

 

0.259

 

0.467

 

0.249

US Gov’t Bonds (BEUSG4 Index)