Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $2.962 per MMBtu, up $0.023 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.991 and $2.809 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net injection of 96 Bcf for the week ending May 25, compared to a five-year average increase of 97 Bcf and a year-ago build of 80 Bcf. At 1,725 Bcf, total storage inventories are currently 500 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 788 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production increased to 80.2 per day for the seven-day period ending May 30, up 0.5 Bcf per day from the previous week and 8.3 Bcf per day ahead of the same period last year.
The power generation sector led natural gas demand over the most recent week, averaging 29.9 Bcf per day compared to 23.7 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 sendout to Mexico.
Population-weighted cooling degree days were 29.1% above average for the week ending June 1. Above-normal temperatures are forecast for much of the country in the 6-1 day weather outlook, although New England market areas are projected closer to normal levels.