Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $2.732 per MMBtu, up $0.037 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.852 and $2.809 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net withdrawal of 57 Bcf for the week ending March 2, compared to a five-year average decline of 128 Bcf and a year-ago draw of 57 Bcf. At 1,625 Bcf, total storage inventories are currently 301 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 680 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production declined to 78.1 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending March 7, down 0.4 Bcf per day from the previous week and 6.4 Bcf per day ahead of the same period last year.
The residential & commercial sector led natural gas demand over the most recent week, averaging 32.0 Bcf per day compared to 30.0 Bcf per day during the same period last year. Total natural gas export volumes were relatively flat to the previous week, with modest declines of 0.2 Bcf per day in LNG sendout.
Population-weighted heating degree days were 4.3% below average for the week ending March 9. The 6-10 day weather outlook projects normal to above-normal temperatures across most major gas-consuming markets.