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The benchmark U.S. natural gas prices fell by 3% early on Tuesday after the latest models overnight showed that most of the U.S. will see warmer than normal temperatures over the next week.
As of 9:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, the front-month futures at the Henry Hub, the American benchmark, were down by 3.36% on the day at $2.416 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), not far off the lowest level since the start of the summer.
Early last week, the U.S. natural gas futures slumped by more than 10% in one day amid high inventories and forecasts of warmer-than-usual weather suggesting very light demand for space heating.
The weather forecasts for the next seven days also show predominantly milder temperatures in many parts of the United States.
“National demand will remain much lighter than normal through December 28,” NatGasWeather.com said on Tuesday.
Nearly the entire U.S. will be warmer than normal between December 21 and December 25, as high pressure will strengthen with highs of upper 30s to 50s over the northern U.S. and 50s to 70s across the southern U.S. Overall, national demand is expected light to very light in the next seven days for “exceptionally light” gas demand through December 28, NatGasWeather.com said.
Higher-than-average inventories at the start of the winter heating season and record-high U.S. natural gas production are also weighing on natural gas prices.
The United States is entering the heating season with the highest natural gas in storage since 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said earlier this month.
U.S. dry natural gas production in the Lower 48 states reached a record monthly high of 104.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in November 2023, per data from S&P Global Commodity Insights, cited by the EIA. U.S. output was up by 3.3%, or 3.3 Bcf/d, between January and November 2023, compared to the 2022 annual average.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,