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Natural Gas Apr '19 (NGJ19)

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Natural Gas Futures Market News and Commentary

Natural Gas Prices Climb on Cold Weather and Expectations of Inventory Drop

Mar Nymex natural gas (NGH19) this morning is up by +0.044 (+1.67%). Nat-gas prices climbed to a 1-week high this morning on expectations for colder weather in the U.S. along with expectations for a larger-than-normal drawdown in weekly nat-gas inventories. NOAA has forecasted colder-than-normal temperature across the western and midwestern U.S. from Feb 26-Mar 2, which should increase heating demand for nat-gas. Also, Radiant Solutions is forecasting below-normal temperatures from California to the Great Lakes from March 1 through March 5 with a forecasted low in Chicago of 11 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 degrees Celsius) on Mar 2, 15 degrees below normal. Today's weekly EIA nat-gas inventory report is expected to decline by -169 bcf in the week of Feb 15, a larger decline than the 5-year average decline of -148 bcf for this time of year. On the negative side, the March-April nat-gas futures spread remained negative by -3.1 cents today. A negative spread suggests nat-gas supplies will be ample by the end of the heating season. Another bearish factor is increased U.S. nat-gas output after today's data showed U.S. lower-48 state nat-gas production rose to 84.879 bcf, up +9.9% y/y. Nat-gas prices last Friday slipped to a 1-year low on signs of adequate supplies after weekly EIA nat-gas inventories last Thursday fell by only -78 bcf, much less than the 5-year average of a decline of -160 bcf. U.S. nat-gas stockpiles as of Feb 8 stood at an 8-month low of 1.882 tcf, down -0.1% y/y and -15.0% below the 5-year average.
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