natural gas futures news

natural gas futures news

April 23rd, 2018

Natural gas futures started the week in negative territory on Monday, amid speculation the start of spring will bring warmer temperatures throughout the U.S. and cut into demand for the fuel.

Front-month U.S. natural gas futures slumped 1.9 cents, or around 0.7%, to $2.748 per million British thermal units (btu) by 9:00AM ET (1300GMT).

The commodity notched its second straight weekly gain, with futures rising about 0.2% last week, thanks to lingering winter-like weather conditions, which has delayed the official start of the storage injection season.

Despite recent gains, market experts warned that futures are likely to remain vulnerable in the near-term as below-normal temperatures in April mean less than they do in January and February.

Spring usually sees the weakest demand for natural gas in the U.S, as the absence of extreme temperatures curbs demand for heating and air conditioning.

Meanwhile, market participants looked ahead to this week’s storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show another draw in a range between 3 and 17 billion cubic feet (bcf) for the week ended April 20.

That compares with a decline of 36 bcf in the preceding week, an increase of 74 bcf a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 60 bcf.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 1.299 trillion cubic feet (tcf), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

That figure is 808 bcf, or around 38.3%, lower than levels at this time a year ago, and 449 bcf, or roughly 25.7%, below the five-year average for this time of year.

Record high domestic production levels have overshadowed the fact that stocks in storage are well below their seasonal averages for this time of year.