Short-term and long-term weather forecasts continued to weigh on December Natural Gas futures this week, despite a slightly bullish inventory report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). With the November through March heating season rapidly approaching, traders are beginning to track winter weather forecasts more closely since this is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption.
This week, natural gas prices fell to a three-year low, however, there were some signs of aggressive speculative buying early Thursday after the EIA reported that natural gas supplies rose less than expected last week.
According to the EIA, weekly natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week-ended October 16 rose by 81 billion cubic feet. This was below expectations for an increase of 88 billion.
Additionally, it was also below recent builds of 100 billion cubic feet the week-ended October 9 and 94 billion cubic feet in the same week last year. The five-year average change for the week is an increase of 84 billion cubic feet.
Currently, stockpiles sit at 3.814 trillion cubic feet. Last year, stocks stood at 3.380 trillion cubic feet. Stockpiles are also 163 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 3.651 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The bigger inventory picture shows that stockpiles could reach a record by the end of the month. According to the EIA, storage levels are expected to peak at 3.956 trillion in November. This would…