Natural gas down 3rd week in row, at low $2s as winter ends

Natural gas down 3rd week in row, at low $2s as winter ends
© Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan — U.S. natural gas futures posted a third straight weekly loss, returning to the low $2 levels, as the close of an unusually-warm winter and the ushering in of balmier spring weather suggested neither heating nor cooling demand that would make a material difference to investors in the fuel.

The most-active May gas contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Henry Hub settled at $2.361 per mmBtu, or metric million British thermal units — up 7.8 cents, or 3.4%, on the day.

The on the hub, which still recognizes as front-month, settled at $2.216 per mmBtu, down 2.9% on the day.

For the week, however, both contracts were down, with April gas losing 5% and May 3.5%.

A mostly warm 2022/23 winter has led to considerably less heating demand in the United States versus the norm, leaving more gas in storage than initially thought.

Responding to the warmth and lackluster storage draws, gas prices plunged from a 14-year high of $10 per mmBtu in August, reaching $7 in December before trading mostly at mid-$2 levels over the past month.

stood at a total 1.9 tcf, or trillion cubic feet, as of March 17 — up 36.1% from the year-ago level of 1.396 tcf and 22.7% higher than the five-year average of 1.549 tcf, the EIA, or Energy Information Administration, reported.

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