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Natural gas prices are up on the day, but they are once again down on the week—the third week running—as unseasonably warm weather dampened prospects for one more demand push in the United States.
Natural gas prices were trading up on the day to $2.191 (+1.81%), but prices week to week are down. Natural gas started the week at $2.365 per mmBtu, but prices have been falling since the first few days of March, and this week marks the third straight week of weekly declines.
Both April and May gas contracts were down on the week.
The natural gas prices are a shell of what they were last August when they were trading at around $10 per mmBtu. While the prices eased closer to the end of the year, the high prices stuck around for all of 2022, before sinking this month into $2 territory.
U.S. working gas in storage levels are high—36.1% above the year-ago levels, according to the EIA’s latest Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report for the week ending March 17, and 22.7% above the five-year average. The biggest jumps in natural gas inventories were seen in the South Central and Midwest regions.
“Looking ahead to April, the latest forecasts indicate around 370 total degree days for the month,” analysts from Tudor Pickering and Holt analysts said.
This is 17% below the five-year average. The “focus continues to shift gears to the latest in power burn, with demand continuing to outpace norms this week (plus-3.7 Bcf/d versus the five-year average), but moderating relative to month-to-date results (plus-4.3 Bcf/d versus the five-year average),” TPH said, according to naturalgasintel.
Last year at this time, natural gas prices were trading at $5.611 per mmBtu.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.