Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $2.822 per MMBtu, up $0.065 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.885 and $2.740 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net injection of 24 Bcf for the week ending July 20, compared to a five-year average increase of 46 Bcf and a year-ago build of 19 Bcf. At 2,273 Bcf, total storage inventories are currently 557 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 705 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production increased to 81.0 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending July 25, up 0.5 Bcf per day from the previous week and 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 36.7 Bcf per day compared to 38.3 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 0.1 Bcf per day in LNG sendout.
Population-weighted cooling degree days were 5.7% above average for the week ending July 27. The latest 6-10 day outlook includes above-normal temperatures across much of the country, including Midwest and Northeast markets.