- Front-month gas futures rose 12 cents, or 3.8%, to $3.269 per million British thermal units (mmBtu).
- For the week, the contract was up about 5% after gaining almost 4% last week and nearly 3% two weeks ago.
US natural gas futures jumped more than 3% on Friday, putting the contract on track for its highest close since October 2020, on forecasts for rising exports, hotter weather and higher air conditioning demand over the next two weeks.
Front-month gas futures rose 12 cents, or 3.8%, to $3.269 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) at 10:05 a.m. EDT (1405 GMT), putting the contract on track for its highest close since Oct. 30, 2020.
That also puts the contract on track to rise for a fourth day in a row for the first time since April.
For the week, the contract was up about 5% after gaining almost 4% last week and nearly 3% two weeks ago.
Data provider Refinitiv said gas output in the Lower 48 US states averaged 91.9 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.
Supplies in Appalachia, however, may be constrained for a while after Enbridge Inc's Texas Eastern Transmission (TETCO) unit said it anticipated the earliest its 30-inch pipe between Pennsylvania to Mississippi could return to full pressure was late in the third quarter of 2021.
With warmer weather on the horizon, Refinitiv projected average gas demand, including exports, would rise from 88.3 bcfd this week to 90.1 bcfd next week and 91.0 bcfd in two weeks.
The amount of gas flowing to US LNG export plants slid to an average of 9.7 bcfd so far in June, down from 10.8 bcfd in May and the all-time high of 11.5 bcfd in April. Traders noted LNG feedgas to was down due to short-term maintenance at the Sabine Pass and Cameron export plants in Louisiana and some of the pipelines that provide them with fuel.
But with European and Asian gas prices both trading over $10 per mmBtu, analysts said they expect buyers around the world to keep purchasing all the LNG the United States can produce.
US pipeline exports to Mexico, meanwhile, averaged 6.7 bcfd so far in June, putting them on track to top May's 6.2-bcfd record.