The weekly natural gas inventory report to be released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday is expected to show a build above the year-ago level but below the five-year average injection.
Analysts and traders surveyed ahead of the release of the EIA's upcoming natural gas storage report anticipate a 19-Bcf to 32-Bcf injection for the week that ended July 28, with the consensus expectation being a storage build of 25 Bcf. That compares to the five-year average injections of 44 Bcf and the 3-Bcf withdrawal reported for the corresponding week in 2016.
Degree day data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the review week to July 29 reflects weather supportive of demand, outlining cooling degree days that were 2.7% more than normal for the week.
In the previous week's data, the reported net 17-Bcf injection into natural gas inventories in the Lower 48 during the week that ended July 21 was below market consensus ahead of the report's release, as well as the 20-Bcf injection reported for the same week in 2016 and the five-year average injection for the week of 47 Bcf.
The latest build brought the total U.S. working gas supply to 2,990 Bcf, about 302 Bcf below the year-ago level and 111 Bcf above the five-year average storage level of 2,879 Bcf.
The injection anticipated in this week's data would result in a total working gas supply of 3,015 Bcf. The year-on-five-year-average surplus would decline to 92 Bcf, while the deficit to the year-ago level would slip to 274 Bcf.
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