NEW YORK: US natural gas futures held steady on Friday as forecasts for milder weather and lower demand next week offset forecasts for warmer weather in mid June that is expected to boost power generator demand for gas to keep air conditioners humming.
Front-month gas futures rose 0.5 cent, or 0.2%, to $3.046 per million British thermal units at 9:04 a.m. EDT (1304 GMT).
For the week, the front-month was up about 2% after rising about 3% last week.
Data provider Refinitiv said gas output in the Lower 48 US states averaged 91.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far in June, up from 91.0 bcfd in May but still well below the monthly record high of 95.4 bcfd in November 2019.
With warmer weather coming, Refinitiv projected average gas demands, including exports, would rise from 84.6 bcfd this week to 88.0 bcfd next week and 89.7 bcfd in two weeks. The forecast for next week was a little lower than Refinitiv predicted on Thursday due to milder weather. The amount of gas flowing to US liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants averaged 10.7 bcfd so far in June, down from 10.8 bcfd in May and the all-time high of 11.5 bcfd in April.
US pipeline exports to Mexico, meanwhile, averaged 6.69 bcfd so far in June, which would top the 6.11-bcfd average in May and the all-time high of 6.14 bcfd in April, according to Refinitiv data.