NYMEX June natural gas futures edged lower overnight in US trading ahead of Wednesday's open, as warmer weather and robust production are keeping inventories on track to a healthy level ahead of the next major demand period. At 6:40 am ET (1040 GMT) the contract was 1.8 cents lower at $2.818/MMBtu.
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Recent and anticipated warm weather looks to encourage additional large builds to storage, as an early uptick in cooling demand meets a sharp decline in heating demand.
During the week ended May 9, warmer weather triggered a 14% increase in power burn week on week but also a 37% drop in residential/commercial sector demand, according to the EIA's latest Natural Gas Weekly Update. Total US gas consumption was down 4% on the week.
Warmer weather is in store further out, as the latest National Weather Service projections for both the six-to-10-day and eight-to-14-day periods continue to reflect above-average temperatures across nearly the entire country.
A steadily rising rig count that implies an impending production growth should leave more natural gas available to flow into underground storage facilities.
--Staff reports, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Maurice Geller, email@example.com