Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Thursday at $2.733 per MMBtu, down $0.097 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.846 and $2.792 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net withdrawal of 63 Bcf for the week ending March 23, compared to a five-year average decline of 46 Bcf and a year-ago draw of 58 Bcf. At 1,383 Bcf, total storage inventories are currently 346 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 672 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production held at 79.1 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending March 28, unchanged from the previous week and 8.3 Bcf per day ahead of the same period last year.
The residential & commercial sector led natural gas demand over the most recent week, averaging 29.0 Bcf per day compared to 23.0 Bcf per day during the same period last year. Total natural gas export volumes were up from the previous week, led by gains of 0.1 Bcf per day in LNG sendout.
Population-weighted heating degree days were 10.4% above average for the week ending March 30. The 6-10 day weather outlook forecasts below-normal temperatures for key gas-consuming markets in the Midwest and Northeast U.S.