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Markets

US natgas futures little changed despite lower demand forecasts

US LNG exports averaged 6.5 bcfd so far in May, down from a four-month low of 8.1 bcfd in April and a record 8.7 bc
27 May 2020
  • US LNG exports averaged 6.5 bcfd so far in May, down from a four-month low of 8.1 bcfd in April and a record 8.7 bcfd in February.
  • Pipeline exports to Mexico averaged 4.7 bcfd so far this month, the same as the 11-month low in April, down from a record 5.6 bcfd in March.

US natural gas futures were little changed on Wednesday as slowing output offset forecasts for lower exports and less demand over the next two weeks than previously expected.

On its last day as the front-month, gas futures for June delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange remained unchanged at $1.792 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) at 7:55 a.m. EDT (1155 GMT).

The July contract, which will soon be the front-month, was up about 2 cents to $1.97 per mmBtu.

Futures for the balance of 2020 and calendar 2021 were trading about 26% and 48% over the front-month, respectively, on expectations the economy will snap back as governments lift coronavirus travel restrictions.

Data provider Refinitiv said average gas output in the US Lower 48 states fell to 89.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far in May, down from an eight-month low of 92.9 bcfd in April and an all-time monthly high of 95.4 bcfd in November.

With milder weather expected, Refinitiv cut its demand projections for the Lower 48 to around 78.5 bcfd for the next two weeks, including exports. That is down from Refinitiv's forecasts on Tuesday of 79.6 bcfd this week and 78.9 bcfd next week.

US LNG exports averaged 6.5 bcfd so far in May, down from a four-month low of 8.1 bcfd in April and a record 8.7 bcfd in February.

Refinitiv said US pipeline exports to Canada averaged 2.2 bcfd so far in May, down from a six-month low of 2.4 bcfd in April and an all-time monthly high of 3.5 bcfd in December.

Pipeline exports to Mexico averaged 4.7 bcfd so far this month, the same as the 11-month low in April, down from a record 5.6 bcfd in March.