US natural gas futures fall on mild weather

16 Jan, 2021

NEW YORK: US natural gas futures fell to their lowest in a week on Thursday on forecasts for milder weather and less heating demand over the next two weeks than previously expected.

That decline came even though liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports remained near record levels and last week’s storage draw was slightly bigger than expected.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said utilities pulled 134 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas from storage during the warmer than usual week ended January 8.

That was bigger than the 128-bcf draw analysts forecast in a Reuters poll and compares with a decrease of about 91 bcf in the same week last year and a five-year (2016-2020) average withdrawal of 161 bcf.

Front-month gas futures fell 6.1 cents, or 2.2%, to settle at $2.666 per million British thermal units, their lowest close since Jan. 4.

Data provider Refinitiv said output in the Lower 48 US states averaged 91.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far in January. That matches December’s eight-month high but falls short of the all-time monthly high of 95.4 bcfd in November 2019.

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