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U.S. natgas slips to 3-week low on cooler forecasts ahead of storage report

U.S. natural gas futures slipped to a three-week low on forecasts for cooler weather and less air conditioning demand next week than previously expected. That price decline came despite a continued increase in liquefied natural gas exports and record sales to Mexico. It also came ahead of a federal report expected to show a near-normal storage build last week.

Analysts said U.S. utilities injected 68 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas into storage in the week ended Sept. 4. That compares with an increase of 80 bcf during the same week last year and a five-year (2015-19) average build of 68 bcf. If correct, the increase would bring stockpiles to 3.523 trillion cubic feet (tcf), 13.1% above the five-year average of 3.116 tcf for this time of year. Front-month gas futures fell 4.9 cents, or 2.0%, to $2.357 per million British thermal units by 8:17 a.m. EDT (1217 GMT).

Even though the weather is expected to turn cooler in mid-September, Refinitiv projected U.S. demand would rise to an average of 85.4 bcfd next week, from 84.0 bcfd this week, due to an increase in exports. That forecast for next week, however, is lower than Refinitiv's projection on Wednesday.

The amount of gas flowing to U.S. LNG export terminals was on track to rise for a second month in a row for the first time since February to 4.4 bcfd in September as Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana ramps up after shutting in late August for Hurricane Laura. Coronavirus demand destruction caused U.S. LNG exports to drop every month from March to July when flows to plants fell to a 21-month low of 3.3 bcfd as buyers canceled cargoes. Flows to LNG export terminals hit a record 8.7 bcfd in February.


Copyright © 2019. All market data is provided by Barchart Solutions. Futures: at least a 10 minute delay. Information is provided 'as is' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice. To see all exchange delays and terms of use, please see disclaimer.

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