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Natural gas futures plunge 3% after U.S. supply report

CommoditiesMay 16, 2013 10:39AM ET
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Investing.com - Natural gas futures came under heavy selling pressure on Thursday, falling 3% after a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed natural gas supplies rose more-than-expected last week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in June traded at USD3.951 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning trade, down 2.9% on the day.       

Nymex natural gas prices fell by as much as 3.5% earlier in the day to hit a session low of USD3.933 per million British thermal units.

The June contract traded at USD3.998 prior to the release of the U.S. Energy Information Administration report.  

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended May 10 rose by 99 billion cubic feet, above expectations for an increase of 95 billion cubic feet.

Inventories rose by 30 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a rise of 69 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 1.964 trillion cubic feet as of last week. Stocks were 694 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 83 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 2.047 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.

The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 105 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net injections of 55 billion cubic feet.

Stocks in the Producing Region were 29 billion cubic feet below the five-year average of 825 billion cubic feet after a net injection of 31 billion cubic feet.

Natural gas futures were lower ahead of the data as forecasts showing mostly mild weather for the rest of May continued to weigh.

Prices have lost nearly 12% since futures rallied to a 21-month high of USD4.442 per million British thermal units on May 1, with some analysts warning of further losses with spring's low-demand shoulder season looming.

Gas use usually hits a seasonal low with spring's mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.

Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in June added 0.4% to trade at USD94.59 a barrel, while heating oil for June delivery eased up 0.3% to trade at USD2.888 per gallon.

Natural gas futures plunge 3% after U.S. supply report

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