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NEW YORK: US natural gas futures fell over 7% to a near two-week low on Monday, keeping volatility at record highs for a third day in a row, as output slowly recovers from last week’s freezing weather and on forecasts for less cold and lower heating demand over the next two weeks than previously expected.

Over the past month, trade in gas futures was the most volatile on record due in part to worries that Winter Storm Landon, which battered the eastern half of the country last week, would cut output and boost heating demand like last February’s Winter Storm Uri.

But Landon - with just one day below freezing in the West Texas Permian basin - was much weaker than Uri, which froze West Texas for eight days in a row.

Uri killed more than 200 people in Texas, caused power and gas prices to soar to record highs in many parts of the country and left millions of homes and businesses without heat and power for days after gas pipes and power plants froze, cutting as much as 17.4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of gas output.

Landon, meanwhile, left around 400,000 homes and businesses without power from Texas to New York for about a day, boosted power and gas prices to the most since Uri and cut gas output by as much as 7.2 bcfd.

During a period of record volatility for NYMEX futures ahead of Landon, US speculators last week boosted their net long futures and options positions on the NYMEX and Intercontinental Exchanges to the highest since October 2021 by cutting their NYMEX shorts by the most in a week since February 2021, according to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Commitments of Traders report.

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