Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $2.771 per MMBtu, up $0.032 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.835 and $2.725 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net withdrawal of 18 Bcf for the week ending April 20, compared to a five-year average injection of 60 Bcf and a year-ago build of 71 Bcf. At 1,281 Bcf, total storage inventories are currently 527 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 897 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production increased to 80.1 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending April 25, up 0.5 Bcf per day from the previous week and 8.9 Bcf per day ahead of the same period last year.
The power generation sector led natural gas demand over the most recent week, averaging 23.7 Bcf per day compared to 22.9 Bcf per day during the same period last year. Total natural gas export volumes were unchanged from the previous week, with LNG and Mexican pipeline sendout holding at a combined 7.7 Bcf per day.
Population-weighted heating degree days were 5.9% above average for the week ending April 27. The 6-10 day weather outlook includes below-normal temperatures in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic with an above-normal solution in the western U.S.