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Markets

U.S. natgas futures edge up on record LNG exports, rising demand

  • The amount of gas flowing to U.S. LNG export plants, meanwhile, rose to an average of 10.7 bcfd so far in December, which would top November's 9.8-bcfd record.
08 Dec, 2020

U.S. natural gas futures edged up on Tuesday after sliding to a 10-week low in the prior session on record liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and forecasts for more heating demand over the next two weeks than previously expected.

Front-month gas futures rose 1.9 cents, or 0.8%, to $2.425 per million British thermal units at 8:11 a.m. EST (1311 GMT). On Monday, the contract closed at its lowest level since Sept. 28.

Analysts noted that mild weather so far in November and December had caused some in the market to give up on possible price spikes this winter. That lack of winter price support caused futures for calendar 2022, to trade over calendar 2021 for the first time since March.

Data provider Refinitiv said output in the Lower 48 U.S. states averaged 90.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far in December.

That compares with a seven-month high of 91.0 bcfd in November 2020, and an all-time monthly high of 95.4 bcfd in November 2019.

Despite mild December forecasts, Refinitiv projected demand, including exports, would rise from 117.9 bcfd this week to 120.2 bcfd next week due to the usual seasonal cooling of the weather.

The amount of gas flowing to U.S. LNG export plants, meanwhile, rose to an average of 10.7 bcfd so far in December, which would top November's 9.8-bcfd record.

That increase comes as the third train at Cheniere Energy Inc's Corpus Christi plant in Texas prepares to enter commercial service and as rising prices in Europe and Asia prompt buyers to purchase more U.S. gas.

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