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Natural Gas Crashes 8% on Smaller-Than-Expected Supply Drawdown

Summary:
Natural gas futures are cratering on Thursday after the US government reported a much smaller-than-expected drawdown in domestic inventories. The natural gas market could come under tremendous pressure to finish 2020, driven by coronavirus restrictions, above-average temperatures, and subdued demand. When could prices retest ? January natural gas futures tumbled %excerpt%.206, or 7.41%, to .574 per million British thermal units (btu) at 14:43 GMT on Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Natural gas is poised for a weekly loss of 13%, paring its year-to-date surge to below 18%. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), domestic stockpiles of natural gas fell one billion cubic feet during the week of November 27. The market had penciled in a drawdown of 12 billion

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Natural gas futures are cratering on Thursday after the US government reported a much smaller-than-expected drawdown in domestic inventories. The natural gas market could come under tremendous pressure to finish 2020, driven by coronavirus restrictions, above-average temperatures, and subdued demand. When could prices retest $3?

January natural gas futures tumbled $0.206, or 7.41%, to $2.574 per million British thermal units (btu) at 14:43 GMT on Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Natural gas is poised for a weekly loss of 13%, paring its year-to-date surge to below 18%.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), domestic stockpiles of natural gas fell one billion cubic feet during the week of November 27. The market had penciled in a drawdown of 12 billion cubic feet. In total, US inventories stand at 3.939 trillion cubic feet, up 343 billion cubic feet from the same time a year ago. They are also 290 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 3.649 trillion cubic feet.

The lack of below-normal seasonal temperatures has been weighing on the natural gas sector. Without a significant cold front crippling North America and Europe, demand for power-generation fuel would be minimal. As the broader energy industry has faced weaker consumption amid the coronavirus pandemic, natural gas prices joined the downward trend in 2020.

In October, many weather models had forecast frigid temperatures during the winter season due to the La Nina climate pattern, but they have so far fallen short of the predictions. NatGasWeather is expected cold temperatures over the next several days, only for warmer air to return in the eastern US:

A weather system with rain and snow will track across the eastern U.S. the next few days with frosty lows of 10s to 30s and highs of 30s to 50s. Temperatures will also be cool across the South and Southeast with lows of 20s and 30s.

In a research note, analysts at EBW believes some of the coming cooler weather will “strengthen cash prices and reduce downside price risk.”

Moreover, natural gas investors are eyeing new coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns across the US, Canada, and Europe. Because of the resurgence in cases, jurisdictions have forced the closure of businesses and new stay-at-home orders. While this would boost residential heating demand, the decrease in commercial and industrial energy demand would be offset.

Fundamentally, output has not subsided, and the demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) has inched upward slightly.

In other energy commodities, January West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures dipped $0.01, or 0.02%, to $45.27 per barrel. February Brent crude futures rose $0.11, or 0.23% to $48.36 a barrel. January gasoline futures edged up by $0.0082, or 0.65%, to $1.2479 a gallon. January heating oil futures added $0.0083, or 0.61%, to $1.3745 per gallon.

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Andrew Moran
I am a full-time professional writer. Prior to my self-employment, I worked as a reporter for Digital Journal covering the politics beat and The Toronto Times reporting on the city’s entertainment scene. I currently write mostly about business, marketing and finance

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