March 25, 2020 / 6:59 PM / in 3 days

UPDATE 1-U.S. natgas futures little changed as lower demand offsets lower output

 (Adds closing prices)
    March 25 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures were little changed on Wednesday even though flows to
liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals increased at the same time output declined.
    Traders said that was because gas demand overall was expected to decline over the next two weeks as
homes and businesses turn down their heaters with the weather forecast to turn milder.
    Front-month gas futures for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.6 cents,
or 0.4%, to settle at $1.659 per million British thermal units. On Monday, the contract closed at its
lowest since September 1995.
    Even before the coronavirus started to cut global economic growth and demand for energy as it spread,
gas prices were trading near their lowest in years as record production and months of mild weather
enabled utilities to leave more gas in storage, making fuel shortages and price spikes unlikely this
winter.
    With milder weather expected, data provider Refinitiv projected gas demand in the U.S. Lower 48
states, including exports, would slide from an average of 105.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) this
week to 100.3 bcfd next week. That is lower than Refinitiv's forecast on Tuesday of 105.6 bcfd this week
and 101.1 bcfd next week.
    The amount of gas flowing to U.S. LNG export plants, meanwhile, rose to 9.2 bcfd on Tuesday from 8.9
bcfd on Monday, according to Refinitiv. That compares with an average of 8.1 bcfd last week when fog
delayed tanker traffic into Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, and an all-time
daily high of 9.5 bcfd on Jan. 31.
    Gas production in the Lower 48 states slipped to 92.9 bcfd on Tuesday from 94.0 bcfd on Monday,
according to Refinitiv. That compares with an average of 94.1 bcfd last week and an all-time daily high
of 96.6 bcfd on Nov. 30. Traders noted most of the decline was in Pennsylvania were flows on Enbridge
Inc's Texas Eastern system were reduced in some areas. Officials at Enbridge were not
immediately available for comment.
    In the spot market, next-day power prices at the ERCOT North Hub EL-PK-ERTN-SNL in Texas for
Wednesday more than doubled to over $60 per megawatt hour, their highest since October, while gas prices
at the Waha hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL dropped to just five cents per mmBtu, their lowest since turning
negative in early March.
         
                                        Week ended     Week ended    Year ago    Five-year   
                                         March 20      March 13      March 20     average    
                                        (Forecast)      (Actual)                 March 20    
 U.S. natgas storage (bcf):                -25             -9          -39          -40      
                                                                                             
                                                                                             
 Refinitiv Heating (HDD), Cooling (CDD) and Total (TDD) Degree Days                          
 Two-Week Total Forecast               Current Day     Prior Day    Prior Year    10-Year    30-Year Norm
                                                                                   Norm      
 U.S. GFS HDDs                             226            234          231          222          225
 U.S. GFS CDDs                              24             24           13          21            17
 U.S. GFS TDDs                             240            258          244          243          242
                                                                                             
 Refinitiv U.S. Weekly GFS Supply and Demand Forecasts                                       
                                        Prior Week    Current Week  Next Week    This Week    Five-Year
                                                                                 Last Year   Average For
                                                                                                Month
 U.S. Supply (bcfd)                                                                                
                                                                                             
 U.S. Lower 48 Dry Production              94.2           93.5         93.7        90.2          76.9
 U.S. Imports from Canada                  6.8            7.0          7.1          8.4          8.5
 U.S. LNG Imports                          0.0            0.0          0.0          0.0          0.2
 Total U.S. Supply                        101.0          100.6        100.8        98.6          85.6
 
 U.S. Demand (bcfd)
 U.S. Exports to Canada                    2.8            2.5          2.6          3.0          2.6
 U.S. Exports to Mexico                    5.6            5.6          5.7          4.8          3.8
 U.S. LNG Exports                          7.8            9.2          9.3          4.0          1.8
 U.S. Commercial                           11.2           11.3         10.2        11.1          12.3
 U.S. Residential                          16.8           17.2         15.1        16.8          19.4
 U.S. Power Plant                          29.9           29.3         27.6        24.7          23.7
 U.S. Industrial                           23.2           23.3         22.9        22.9          22.6
 U.S. Plant Fuel                           4.7            4.6          4.6          4.6          4.7
 U.S. Pipe Distribution                    2.3            2.3          2.2          2.3          2.5
 U.S. Vehicle Fuel                         0.1            0.1          0.1          0.1          0.1
 Total U.S. Consumption                    88.3           88.1         82.8        82.5          85.3
 Total U.S. Demand                        104.4          105.5        100.3        94.3          93.5
                                                                                             
                                                                                             
 SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)                                          
 Hub                                   Current Day     Prior Day                             
 Henry Hub NG-W-HH-SNL                   1.73           1.70                               
 Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL        1.64           1.42                               
 PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL             2.45           2.31                               
 Dominion South NG-PCN-APP-SNL           1.38           1.33                               
 Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL           1.54           1.49                               
 Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL         1.64           1.45                               
 SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL           1.99           2.01                               
 Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL                 0.05           0.47                               
                                                                                             
 SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)                                        
 Hub                                   Current Day     Prior Day                             
 New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL             18.50          17.75                               
 PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL                23.25          22.00                               
 Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL             60.25          22.00                               
 Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL                   21.13          22.00                               
 Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL              15.75          21.50                               
 SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL                   21.50          21.75                               
 
 (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
  
 
 
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