Prompt-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed on Friday at $2.711 per MMBtu, down $0.060 from the previous week. Average pricing for the balance of 2018 and calendar year 2019 was at $2.764 and $2.692 per MMBtu, respectively.
The Energy Information Administration reported a net injection of 62 Bcf for the week ending April 27, compared to a five-year average increase of 69 Bcf and a year-ago build of 68 Bcf. At 1,343 Bcf, total storage inventories are currently 534 Bcf below the benchmark five-year average and 903 Bcf behind year-ago levels.
Domestic natural gas production increased to 80.0 Bcf per day for the seven-day period ending May 2, up 0.4 Bcf per day from the previous week and 8.8 Bcf per day ahead of the same period last year.
The power generation sector led natural gas demand over the most recent week, averaging 23.3 Bcf per day compared to 24.1 Bcf per day during the same period last year. Total natural gas export volumes were up from the previous week, led by gains of 0.4 Bcf per day in LNG sendout.
Population-weighted heating degree days were 18.9% below average for the week ending May 4. The 6-10 day weather outlook includes above-normal temperatures in the Eastern and Western U.S., along with a mild solution in the Midwest market.