Natural gas inventories rose by more than the seasonal norm last week as mild weather limited fuel use, according to analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.
U.S. stockpiles increased 89 billion cubic feet to 2.436 trillion in the seven days ended June 14, based on the median of 22 analyst estimates. The five-year average increase for the period is 80 billion, Energy Information Administration data show. Supplies expanded by 63 billion a year earlier.
The estimates range from increases of 85 billion to 95 billion cubic feet. The EIA, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, is scheduled to release its weekly inventory report at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in Washington.
Below-normal temperatures alternated with spurts of heat on the East Coast and in the Midwest last week while Texas saw above-normal readings, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Inventory gains exceeded historic norms the previous two reports as mild weather crimped demand for the power-plant fuel to run air conditioners.
“Seasonally above-average temperatures do not cut it,” John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC and editor of the Energy OverView newsletter in New York, wrote today. “Several days in a row of 100 degree temperatures with high humidity” are required to get a rally going.
Natural gas futures have gained 6.2 percent to $3.963 per million British thermal units so far this week on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 18 percent this year.
Gas supplies in the week ended June 7 were 2.4 percent below the five-year average for the period, down from 3 percent the previous week, according to the EIA. A deficit to year-earlier levels narrowed for a ninth week, easing to 20 percent from 21.5 percent.
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