The weekly natural gas inventory report to be released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, April 6, is expected to show a modest injection for what is typically the final week of the withdrawal season.
Analysts and traders surveyed ahead of the release of the upcoming EIA storage report that will cover the week to March 31 anticipate from a 5-Bcf to 15-Bcf injection, with the consensus expectation being a storage build of 9 Bcf, defying the prior-week and five-year average draws, which came in at 43 Bcf and 13 Bcf, respectively, but above the year-ago injection of 6 Bcf.
Heating degree day data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the review week to April 1 reflects unsupportive weather, outlining 5.7% fewer heating degree days compared to the same week last year, and 18.9% fewer than normal for the week.
In the previous week's data, the reported net 43-Bcf withdrawal from natural gas inventories in the Lower 48 during the week ended March 24 was a downside miss against the market consensus ahead of the report's release that called for a 44-Bcf draw from stocks, but was above both the 19-Bcf withdrawal reported for the same week in 2016 and the five-year average withdrawal of 27 Bcf.
The latest withdrawal brought the total U.S. working gas supply to 2,049 Bcf, some 423 Bcf below the year-ago level and 250 Bcf above the five-year average storage level of 1,799 Bcf.
The injection anticipated in this week's data would result in a total working gas supply of 2,058 Bcf. The year-on-five-year-average surplus would increase to 272 Bcf, while the deficit to the year-ago level would decrease to 420 Bcf.
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