The past few weeks we have seen an uptick in natural gas prices in response to rising demand and production slowdowns. Prices rose for 7 consecutive days until this week’s storage report was announced. The largest injection of the year, and since October 10, came in at 73 Bcf which was above consensus expectations of 70 Bcf. Total inventories are 51.6% above last year’s levels and 48.2% above the 5-year average. In regards to storage, the net injection for April gave prices some support as it is projected to be 59.4% lower than last year’s numbers. Storage rose a total of 325 Bcf last year compared to an estimated 132 Bcf in April 2016.
Weather continues to remain an extremely bearish driver with last week’s temperatures 38% and 47% warmer than the comparable week last year and the five-year average, respectively. Total demand across the US was cut by 70 Bcf last week in response to the warm weather. Looking back to last September, it has been 18% and 16% warmer than last year and the five-year average, respectively.