Investing.com – Natural gas futures were a tad lower on Tuesday, but prices remained within sight of a seven-week high amid forecasts for more heating demand over the next two weeks.
U.S. natural gas futures shed 2.5 cents, or around 0.8%, to $3.109 per million British thermal units by 8:35AM ET (1335GMT). It reached its best level since Sept. 20 at $3.148 earlier in the session.
Futures surged 5% on Monday, the biggest single-session jump since Oct. 30., as traders reacted to bullish weather forecasts for most parts of the United States over the next two weeks, that should lead to an increase in heating demand.
Temperatures are forecast to dip well below normal from the U.S. Pacific Northwest to the Northeast through Nov. 10.
Natural gas prices typically rise ahead of the winter as colder weather sparks indoor-heating demand.
The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption.
Meanwhile, market participants looked ahead to this week’s storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build of approximately 8 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the week ended Nov 3. That compares with a gain of 65 bcf in the preceding week, a build of 54 bcf a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 45 bcf.
If confirmed, that would be the smallest increase for this time of year since supplies of the heating fuel declined in 2006.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 3.775 trillion cubic feet (tcf), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That figure is 180 bcf, or around 4.5%, lower than levels at this time a year ago and 41 bcf, or roughly 1.1%, below the five-year average for this time of year.
Analysts estimated the amount of gas in storage would end the April-October injection season at 3.8 tcf due primarily to higher liquefied natural gas shipments abroad. That would fall short of the year-earlier record of 4.0 tcf and the five-year average of 3.9 tcf.