Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $2.757 per MMBtu, up $0.005 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.785 and $2.708 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net injection of 46 Bcf for the week ending July 13, compared to a five-year average increase of 62 Bcf and a year-ago build of 31 Bcf. At 2,249 Bcf, total storage inventories are currently 535 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 710 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic and natural gas production decreased to 80.4 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending July 18, down 0.6 Bcf per day from the previous week but 8.0 Bcf per day ahead of the same period last year.
The power generation sector led natural gas demand over the most recent week, averaging 39.0 Bcf per day compared to 35.0 Bcf per day during the same period last year. Total natural gas export volumes were down from the previous week, led by a decline of 0.2 Bcf per day in Mexican sendout.
Population-weighted cooling degree days were 6.5% above average for the week ending July 20. The latest 6-10 day outlook includes below-normal temperatures across much of the country, with lingering heat in the western U.S. and Texas.