Natural gas futures climbed to a five-week high in New York on forecasts for below-normal temperatures and a winter storm that would boost demand for the heating fuel.
Gas advanced as much as 1.6 percent after Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, predicted colder-than-usual weather in parts of the eastern and central U.S. through March 9. As much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) of snow may fall in Chicago today and New York may get 2 inches tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service.
“It’s really as simple as the weather,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “With this winter storm coming along, heating demand for gas should be pretty strong. It’s a major cold front.”
Natural gas for April delivery rose 3.8 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $3.567 per million British thermal units at 9:04 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices earlier climbed to $3.584 per million Btu, the highest level since Jan. 24. The futures have gained 51 percent from a year ago. Trading volume was 44 percent above the average for the time of day.
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