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Markets

US natgas futures jump more than 4pc as output falls ahead of Storm Sally

  • Sally is expected to strengthen into a hurricane overnight before it hits southeast Louisiana early on Tuesday.
  • Data provider Refinitiv said output in the Lower 48 US states was on track to slide to a two-week low of 86.1 billion cubic feet per day on Monday.
14 Sep 2020

US natural gas futures jumped more than 4% on Monday as liquefied natural gas exports continued to soar and output fell as Gulf Coast producers shut some production before Tropical Storm Sally smashes into the Louisiana coast.

Sally is expected to strengthen into a hurricane overnight before it hits southeast Louisiana early on Tuesday. Entergy Corp, the biggest power company in Louisiana, still has about 50,000 customers without service in southwest Louisiana from Hurricane Laura.

After falling to a four-week low last week, front-month gas futures rose 10 cents, or 4.4%, to $2.369 per million British thermal units at 10:16 a.m. EDT (1416 GMT).

Data provider Refinitiv said output in the Lower 48 US states was on track to slide to a two-week low of 86.1 billion cubic feet per day on Monday. On a monthly basis, however, output has averaged 87.8 bcfd so far in September, up from a three-month low of 87.5 bcfd in August.

With the weather turning cooler, Refinitiv projected overall demand in the Lower 48, including exports, would slide from 85.3 bcfd this week to 82.4 bcfd next week. The forecast for next week was lower than Refinitiv's outlook on Friday.

The amount of gas flowing to US LNG export plants, meanwhile, was on track to average 5.1 bcfd in September. That is the most in a month since May and up for a second month in a row for the first time since hitting a record high of 8.7 bcfd in February.

The LNG-export gain comes as Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine Pass in Louisiana keeps ramping up after shutting in late August for Hurricane Laura and as global gas prices rise. That price increase makes US gas more attractive in Europe and Asia following months of US cargo cancellations due to coronavirus demand destruction.