Leading up to today's EIA Natural Gas Storage report Natural-gas prices ticked up in seesaw trading Wednesday with hot weather this week and cooler weather on the way dividing opinion about prices. Recap of last weeks EIA Natural Gas storage report.
Natural gas for September delivery settled up 0.2 cent, or 0.1%, at $2.619 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Natural gas wholesale contracts rose overnight to their highest point in a week, but then retreated and held closed to unchanged for the rest of the session.
A heatwave on the East Coast is likely driving strong demand for gas-fired power, analysts said. Summer prices are often driven by how much people run their air conditioners and ramp up demand for power. But those weather forecasts are also cooling in the coming weeks. And the autumn weather to come beyond that is usually too cool to drive demand for air conditioning and gas-fired power, but too warm to drive demand for winter heating.
Some analysts are expecting natural gas prices could stay near this range until November, when winter weather starts to drive prices. Many do expect prices to shoot higher once that happens, and as a glut in storage burns away into next year. But some of those same people also expect prices to stay weighed down in the months to come because of that glut that has lingered in storage since last winter.
EIA Natural Gas Storage Report 8-18-16
Working gas in storage was 3,339 Bcf as of Friday, August 12, 2016, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 22 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 327 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 405 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,934 Bcf. At 3,339 Bcf, total working gas is above the five-year historical range.
Analysts expected a build of 27 bcf. As of 10:32 ET, natural gas futures were trading higher by 1.6% to $2.662.
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