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NYMEX September natural gas settles 5.1 cents lower on record-high production

Houston — The NYMEX September natural gas contract fell in Monday trading, continuing Friday's slide to find new 39-month lows.

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The front-month contract shed 5.1 cents, settling at $2.070/MMBtu, trading in a range of $2.029-$2.109/MMBtu.

The core winter months of December and January also dropped by 4.1 cents and 4.0 cents in Monday trading, settling at $2.372/MMBtu and $2.506/MMBtu, respectively.

"It's pretty clear that the market is driving lower on the avalanche of gas being produced," said Gene McGillian, senior analyst at Tradition Energy.

US dry production hit an all-time high this weekend at 90.4 Bcf/d on Saturday, soaring over 90 Bcf/d for the first time, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics. Production is forecast to stay around these levels, hovering at 89.9 Bcf/d over the next eight to 14 days. Month-to-date levels remain significantly higher than year-ago levels with August, averaging 90 Bcf/d, 8.4 Bcf higher than last year's level of 81.6 Bcf/d, Platts Analytics data shows.

On weather in the US, McGillian said "without a hot forecast in the Eastern half, there's nothing to stop gas from hitting $2[/MMBtu]."

Looking ahead, the most recent eight- to 14-day weather outlook from the National Weather Service predicts cooler-than-average temperatures for much of the Northeast and Midwest, which could put downward pressure on prices.

Total demand sits at 83.1 Bcf on Monday, 3.4 Bcf under last week's average of 86.5 Bcf/d, mostly driven by a decrease in LNG feedgas demand, which saw a 27% drop from last week's average of 5.5 Bcf/d to Monday's 4 Bcf, according to Platts Analytics.

Power burn is expected to drop from Monday's 39.9 Bcf to 39.3 Bcf/d over the next week, before bumping back up to 40.9 Bcf/d over the next eight to 14 days, Platts Analytics data shows.

The NYMEX settlement price is considered preliminary and subject to change until a final settlement price is posted at 7 pm EDT (2300 GMT).

-- Humza Jamal,

-- Edited by Derek Sands,