• Tony Zelinski

EIA Natural Gas Storage Report 9-29-16


Leading up to today's EIA Natural Gas Storage report, Natural gas wholesale contracts wobbled below the highest level since January 2015 on Tuesday, as natural gas prices continued to draw support from forecasts showing unusually warm temperatures across most parts of the continental U.S. in the days ahead. See the recap of last weeks EIA Natural Gas inventory Report.

Natural gas for delivery in October on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled $0.001 lower on the day to settle at $2.996, or 0.03%, not far from last week's 20-month peak of $3.098. On Monday, natural gas prices of the fuel jumped 4.3 cents, or 1.47%, after weather reports suggested more heat and high demand for gas-fired power throughout the end of September. Gas futures have made a dramatic recovery in recent months, rising nearly 50% since hitting a 20-year low of $1.611 in early March, as an unusually warm summer helped trim a supply surplus that was weighing on prices.

Total U.S. natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.551 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 4.0% higher than levels at this time a year ago and 7.5% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Despite the recent rally, gains are likely to remain limited as traders react to the reality that higher summer demand for the commodity is coming to an end. Demand for natural gas tends to rise in the summer months as warmer temperatures increase the need for gas-fired electricity to power air conditioning.

But with autumn having started on September 22, power burns to feed air conditioning demand have probably peaked for now, market analysts said. Market players looked ahead to weekly supply data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build of approximately 56 billion cubic feet in the week ended September 23. That compares with a gain of 52 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 96 billion a year earlier and a five-year average build of 97 billion cubic feet.

Recap of last weeks EIA Natural Gas inventory Report.

EIA Natural Gas Storage Report 9-29-16

Working gas in storage was 3,600 Bcf as of Friday, September 23, 2016, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 49 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 90 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 220 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,380 Bcf. At 3,600 Bcf, total working gas is above the five-year historical range.

Analysts expected a build of 55 bcf. As of 10:32 ET, natural gas futures were trading higher by 0.2% to $3.008.

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