Natural gas futures fell in New York for the first time in three days after forecasts for the second week of April showed warmer weather.
Gas dropped as much as 1.3 percent as temperatures from April 8 through April 12 will be higher than previous forecasts, according to a note to clients from Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. New York will reach a high of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) on April 11, 10 degrees above average, AccuWeather Inc. in State College Pennsylvania, said.
“It looks right now like we have maybe a 10-day window of heating demand left,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker with Tradition Energy in Stamford Connecticut. “Then we have to shift our focus to Texas and the Southeast to see if that turns into early season cooling demand.”
Natural gas for May delivery declined 2.7 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $4.041 per million British thermal units at 9:24 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading was 27 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day. The futures have advanced 21 percent this year, heading for a fourth straight quarterly gain. Prices are up 16 percent this month.
“The big story today is faster warming signals,” Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group, said in the report. Below-normal temperatures will prevail through the first week of April before giving way to seasonal or warmer weather, he said.
An Energy Department report today may show that inventories fell by 90 billion cubic feet last week, according to the median estimate of 25 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The five-year average change is a gain of 6 billion.
A blast of cold weather has helped whittle U.S. inventories to 1.876 trillion cubic feet, the lowest level since May 2011, according to the Energy Information Administration. A supply glut shrank to 9.5 percent above the five-year average, the smallest surplus since December.
Stockpiles ended the heating season last March at 2.472 trillion cubic feet.
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