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Markets

US natgas futures little changed ahead of weekly storage report

Refinitiv slightly reduced its demand projections for the next two weeks, including exports, to 78.4 bcfd from 78.5
28 May 2020
  • Refinitiv slightly reduced its demand projections for the next two weeks, including exports, to 78.4 bcfd from 78.5 bcfd on Wednesday due to slightly milder weather forecasts.
  • That compares with an increase of 110 bcf during the same week last year and a five-year (2015-19) average build of 93 bcf for the period.
  • If correct, the increase would bring stockpiles to 2.610 trillion cubic feet (tcf), 19.2pc above the five-year average of 2.189 tcf for this time of year.

US natural gas futures were little changed on Thursday as the market awaited direction from a federal report expected to show a bigger-than-usual weekly storage build.

Analysts said utilities likely injected 107 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas into storage during the week ended May 22.

That compares with an increase of 110 bcf during the same week last year and a five-year (2015-19) average build of 93 bcf for the period.

If correct, the increase would bring stockpiles to 2.610 trillion cubic feet (tcf), 19.2pc above the five-year average of 2.189 tcf for this time of year.

On its first day as the front-month, gas futures for the most actively traded July contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange remained unchanged at $1.882 per million British thermal units at 7:58 a.m. EDT (1158 GMT). Even though the July futures were flat with where it closed in the prior session, it was up about 9pc from where the June contract expired on Wednesday.

Looking ahead, futures for the balance of 2020 and calendar 2021 were trading about 20pc and 41pc over the front-month, respectively, on expectations the economy will snap back as governments lift coronavirus-linked 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.

Refinitiv slightly reduced its demand projections for the next two weeks, including exports, to 78.4 bcfd from 78.5 bcfd on Wednesday due to slightly milder weather forecasts.

With US gas prices higher than European benchmarks through the summer , 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.