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Markets

US natgas futures edge up to one-week high on record LNG exports

  • That small price increase came despite a continued rise in output, forecasts for milder weather and lower heating demand next week and an expected.
  • Last week's decrease cut stockpiles to 3.940 trillion cubic feet (tcf) or 6.8% above the five-year average of 3.690 tcf for this time of year.
26 Nov 2020

US natural gas futures edged up to a one-week high on Wednesday as liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports hit a fresh record high.

That small price increase came despite a continued rise in output, forecasts for milder weather and lower heating demand next week and an expected, smaller-than-usual weekly decline in stockpiles.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said US utilities pulled 18 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas from storage during the warmer-than-normal week ended Nov. 20.

That was in line with the 18-bcf decline analysts forecast in a Reuters poll and compares with a decrease of 47 bcf during the same week last year and a five-year (2015-19) average withdrawal of 37 bcf.

Last week's decrease cut stockpiles to 3.940 trillion cubic feet (tcf) or 6.8% above the five-year average of 3.690 tcf for this time of year.

On its last day as the front month, gas futures for December delivery rose 1.5 cents, or 0.5%, to $2.790 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) at 12:40 p.m. EST (1740 GMT). On Tuesday, the contract closed at its highest since Oct. 13.

The January contract, which will soon be the front month, gained 4 cents to $2.94 per mmBtu.

Data provider Refinitiv said output in the Lower 48 US states has averaged 90.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far in November, up from a five-month low of 87.4 bcfd in October.

With the weather expected to cool, Refinitiv projected demand, including exports, would rise from 100.8 bcfd this week to 112.9 bcfd next week. The outlook for next week, however, was lower than Refinitiv forecast on Tuesday.

The amount of gas flowing to US LNG export plants was on track to hit a record high as Cheniere Energy Inc's Corpus Christi plant in Texas pulled in enough fuel to supply all three of its liquefaction trains.