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NYMEX March natural gas futures up 3.4 cents at $3.201/MMBtu

London (Platts)--30 Jan 2018 811 am EST/1311 GMT


NYMEX March natural gas futures were on the offensive overnight ahead of the Tuesday, Jan. 30, open, as colder weather in store spelled elevated heating demand and additional large storage draws.

At 6:49 a.m. ET (1149 GMT) the contract was 3.4 cents higher at $3.201/MMBtu.

Updated National Weather Service outlooks show a wide swath of below-average temperatures encompassing the bulk of the central and eastern US through both the upcoming six- to 10-day and eight- to 14-day periods, hemmed in by bands of average temperatures stretching over a few areas of the South into portions of the Midwest and a small section of the Northwest.

Above-average temperatures are called only for much of the West, parts of the west-central US and fringes of the Southeast.

Weather as projected suggests stronger demand for heating that would ramp up anew the amount of natural gas drawn from underground storage facilities, following an anticipated slowdown in the pace of stock erosion in the forthcoming inventory data fueled by evidence of diminished demand amid milder weather.

The US Energy Information Administration's latest "Natural Gas Weekly Update" for the week ended January 24, much of which will be reflected in the next weekly storage data that will cover the week to January 26, detailed a 19% week on week decline in total US natural gas consumption, as temperatures rose across the contiguous US

Total working gas stocks currently sit at 2,296 Bcf, or 519 Bcf below the year-ago level and 486 Bcf below the five-year average of 2,782 Bcf, after the EIA outlined a 288 Bcf withdrawal for the week ended January 19.

The reported withdrawal tied as the second-highest stock drawdown on record, putting the two largest weekly withdrawals ever since data collection began in the last three weeks.

It brought net stock drawdown over the last four storage report weeks to a total of 1,036 Bcf, besting the previous four-week draw record of 980 Bcf that occurred in the period between January 17, 2014, and February 14, 2014, during a polar vortex, the EIA said.




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