Investing.com – The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that in the U.S. fell by 36 billion cubic feet in the week ended April 13, compared to forecasts for a decline of 23 billion.
Thursday’s data compared with a draw of 19 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the preceding week and represented a decline of 808 billion from a year earlier and was also 449 bcf below the five-year average.
Total U.S. storage stood at 1.299 trillion cubic feet, 38.3% lower than levels at this time a year ago and also 25.7% below the five-year average for this time of year.
After the report, for delivery in May on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 1.2 cents, or about 1.2%, to trade at $2.707 per million British thermal units by 10:33AM ET (14:33GMT).
Futures had been trading down 5.2 cents, or about 1.9%, at $2.687 prior to the release of the supply data.
The commodity is little changed so far this week as traders face difficulty in forecasting near-term demand due to the erratic weather patterns in the U.S. Heating demand is being registered in the Midwest and Northeast, but is offset by cooling demand in parts of the Southwest and Southeast.
Spring usually sees the weakest demand for natural gas in the U.S, as the absence of extreme temperatures curbs demand for heating and air conditioning.
Furthermore, record high domestic production levels have overshadowed the fact that stocks in storage are well below their seasonal averages for this time of year. Production in the lower 48 states averaged a record high 78.7 bcfd over the past 30 days.
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