May 21, 2020 / 12:38 PM / 10 days ago

U.S. natgas futures slip near 3% ahead of weekly storage report

    May 21 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures slipped almost 3% on Thursday ahead of a storage report
expected to show a smaller-than-usual weekly storage build and continued declines in demand and exports
due to coronavirus lockdowns.
    Analysts said utilities likely injected 83 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas into storage during the
week ended May 15. That compares with an increase of 101 bcf during the same week last year and a
five-year (2015-19) average build of 87 bcf for the period.
    If correct, the increase would bring stockpiles to 2.505 trillion cubic feet (tcf), 19.5% above the
five-year average of 2.096 tcf for this time of year.
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release its weekly storage report at 10:30
a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Thursday.
    Front-month gas futures for June delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 4.7 cents,
or 2.7%, to $1.724 per million British thermal units at 8:25 a.m. EDT (1225 GMT).
    Futures for the balance of 2020 and calendar 2021 were trading about 26% and 52%
over the front-month, respectively, on expectations the economy will snap back once governments lift
travel restrictions.
    Data provider Refinitiv said average gas output in the U.S. Lower 48 states fell to 89.6 billion
cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far in May, down from an eight-month low of 92.9 bcfd in April and an
all-time monthly high of 95.4 bcfd in November.
    Refinitiv said U.S. pipeline exports to Canada averaged 2.2 bcfd so far in May, down from 2.4 bcfd
in April and an all-time monthly high of 3.5 bcfd in December. Pipeline exports to Mexico averaged 4.6
bcfd so far this month, down from 4.7 bcfd in April and a record 5.6 bcfd in March.
    U.S. LNG exports averaged 6.6 bcfd so far in May down from a four-month low of 8.1 bcfd in April and
a record 8.7 bcfd in February.
    In the Pacific Northwest, low demand and ample hydro and wind power drove electric prices at the
Mid-C hub EL-PK-MIDC-SNL to a record low below zero for the first time ever, according to Refinitiv
data going back to 2010.
    
                                       Week ended      Week ended    Year ago   Five-year   
                                          May 15        May 8         May 15     average    
                                        (Forecast)      (Actual)                  May 15    
 U.S. natgas storage (bcf):                +83            +103         +101        +87      
                                                                                            
                                                                                            
 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                              22             22           44          47           42
 U.S. GFS CDDs                             126            125          107          99           98
 U.S. GFS TDDs                             148            147          151         146          140
                                                                                            
 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              90.1           88.3         88.1        88.5         77.0
 U.S. Imports from Canada                  5.8            6.0          6.1         7.8          7.8
 U.S. LNG Imports                          0.0            0.0          0.0         0.0          0.1
 Total U.S. Supply                         95.9           94.3         94.2        95.3         84.9
 
 U.S. Demand (bcfd)
 U.S. Exports to Canada                    2.1            2.1          2.1         2.6          1.9
 U.S. Exports to Mexico                    4.6            4.9          4.7         4.3          3.9
 U.S. LNG Exports                          6.6            5.9          5.7         5.6          2.0
 U.S. Commercial                           7.9            5.4          4.6         5.5          5.5
 U.S. Residential                          10.2           5.6          4.0         5.9          6.1
 U.S. Power Plant                          25.1           27.2         30.2        26.8         25.3
 U.S. Industrial                           22.6           21.7         21.5        21.8         20.6
 U.S. Plant Fuel                           4.5            4.4          4.4         4.3          4.5
 U.S. Pipe Distribution                    1.9            1.8          1.8         1.7          1.9
 U.S. Vehicle Fuel                         0.1            0.1          0.1         0.1          0.1
 Total U.S. Consumption                    72.4           66.1         66.6        66.1         64.0
 Total U.S. Demand                         85.7           79.0         79.1        78.6         71.8
                                                                                            
                                                                                            
 SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)                                         
 Hub                                   Current Day     Prior Day                            
 Henry Hub NG-W-HH-SNL                   1.83           1.85                              
 Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL        1.42           1.48                              
 PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL             2.64           2.61                              
 Dominion South NG-PCN-APP-SNL           1.46           1.47                              
 Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL           1.72           1.74                              
 Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL         1.43           1.52                              
 SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL           1.88           1.99                              
 Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL                 1.67           1.69                              
                                                                                            
 SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)                                       
 Hub                                   Current Day     Prior Day                            
 New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL             16.75          22.75                              
 PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL                18.00          20.50                              
 Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL             22.00          28.00                              
 Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL                   -0.13           8.50                              
 Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL              11.75          12.00                              
 SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL                   11.75           9.75                              
 
 (Reporting by Scott DiSavino)
  
 
 
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