Investing.com – Natural gas futures jumped to their best levels of the session on Thursday, hitting an 11-week high after data showed that domestic supplies in storage fell more than expected last week.
Front-month rose 2.6 cents, or around 0.9%, to $2.833 per million British thermal units (btu) by 10:33AM ET (1433GMT), the most since Feb. 5. Futures were at $2.812 prior to the release of the supply data.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. (bcf) in the week ended April 20, besting forecasts for a withdrawal of 11 bcf.
That compared with a decline of 36 bcf in the preceding week, an increase of 74 bcf a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 60 bcf.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 1.281 trillion cubic feet (tcf), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
That figure is 897 bcf, or around 41.2%, lower than levels at this time a year ago, and 527 bcf, or roughly 29.1%, below the five-year average for this time of year.
Meanwhile, updated weather forecasting models showed that cooler than normal temperatures will spread across the northern United States during the next two weeks.
However, market experts warned that futures are likely to remain vulnerable in the near-term as the coldest part of the winter has effectively passed.
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.
The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption.
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