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Natural Gas May '19 (NGK19)

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Natural Gas Futures Market News and Commentary

Natural Gas Prices Strengthen on Forecasts for Cold Weather Along the U.S. East Coast

Apr Nymex natural gas (NGJ19) this morning is up by +0.018 (+0.63%). Nat-gas prices are stronger and posted a 1-1/2 month nearest-futures high today on forecasts for colder-than-normal weather this week on the U.S East coast, which may further deplete already tight U.S. nat-gas supplies supply. Accuweather has forecast the low in New York city of 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) on March 22, 3 degrees below normal. A decline in the dollar index to a 2-week low today is another supportive factor for nat-gas prices. Further upside may be limited on the outlook for warmer weather after NOAA forecasted above-normal temperatures across most of the northern U.S. from March 25-29. An increase in U.S. nat-gas output is another negative for prices after today's data showed U.S. lower-48-state nat-gas production at 83.915 bcf, up +4.7% y/y. In addition, the April-May nat-gas futures spread remained negative today and has been negative since Jan 30. A negative spread suggests nat-gas supplies will be ample by the end of the heating season. Nat-gas prices have underlying support from tight U.S. nat-gas supply. The EIA reported last Thursday that U.S. nat-gas inventories fell by -204 bcf in the week ended Mar 8, a much larger draw than the 5-year average of -99 bcf and a record drop for this time of year. U.S. nat-gas inventories continue to shrink as nat-gas stockpiles on Mar 8 stood at a 4-3/4 year low of 1.186 tcf, down -22.6% y/y and -32.4% below the 5-year average.
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