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NYMEX April gas settles at $2.786/MMBtu, up 0.8 cent, on demand, weather

Houston (Platts)--13 Mar 2018 446 pm EDT/2046 GMT


The NYMEX April natural gas futures contract settled at $2.786/MMBtu, up 0.8 cent, as a recent demand uptick and cold weather have continued to support prices. March has been a different story for the front-month contract than February, as it has risen 8.8 cents or 3.3%, since March 1. In February, over the same time span, the contract fell 26.2 cents, or 10.1%.

Colder-than-average weather is expected to linger over much of the US in the coming days, as the most recent eight- to 14-day outlook from the National Weather Service calls for a likelihood of lower-than-average temperatures in the Northwest, Southwest, Rockies, Northeast and parts of the Midwest.

Coming off lower-than-average temperatures was demand that averaged 87.5 Bcf/d over the prior seven days, up 2.5 Bcf/d from the 85 Bcf/d averaged so far in March and 5.1 Bcf/d above the 82.4 Bcf/d averaged over the same month a year ago, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.

Production has continued to be robust, as dry production has averaged 77.6 Bcf/d over the previous seven days, up 6.2 Bcf/d from the year-ago average of 71.4 Bcf/d and just below the 77.7 Bcf/d average so far in March, according to Platts Analytics.

Looking ahead, players will look to see how the recent demand bump will affect national stock levels that currently sit at 1.625 Tcf, a 15.6% deficit to the five-year average, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

In addition, the eight- to 14-day estimates for dry production and US demand were at 77.6 Bcf/d and 75.9 Bcf/d, respectively.

The NYMEX settlement is considered preliminary and subject to change until a final settlement price is posted at 7 pm EDT (2300 GMT).

--Tyler Schwartz, tyler.schwartz@spglobal.com

--Edited by Valarie Jackson, valarie.jackson@spglobal.com




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