U.S. natural gas futures on track to snap 4-day win streak

Natural gas futures fell sharply on Monday, on track to snap a four-session win streak, as traders monitored shifting weather forecasts to assess the outlook for spring demand and supply levels.

U.S. natural gas for June delivery slumped 7.6 cents, or around 2.2%, to $3.348 per million British thermal units by 9:10AM ET (13:10GMT).

Prices of the heating fuel settled higher for the fourth-straight session on Friday after touching its strongest level since late January at $3.431.

Updated weather forecasting models pointed to a relatively cool period expected over the eastern U.S. for the next few days, but still with warmer conditions gaining ground after, according to forecasters at NatGasWeather.com.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on spring demand.

Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with spring’s mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.

Meanwhile, market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 55 and 63 billion cubic feet in the week ended May 12.

That compares with a gain of 45 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 73 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 87 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.301 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 13.9% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 12.0% above the five-year average for this time of year.

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