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NYMEX September natural gas futures decrease to $2.936/MMBtu as power burn backs off

Houston — The NYMEX September natural gas futures contract decreased on Friday as power burn totals fell day on day.

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As of 10:13 am EDT (1413 GMT), the NYMEX front-month contract decreased 1.90 cents Friday to $2.936/MMBtu, trading in a range of $2.917/MMBtu and $2.955/MMBtu.

US demand fell 3.1 Bcf/d Friday to 70.8 Bcf/d as demand reached its lowest levels in five days, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics data.

Most of the fall in the US demand was due to the decrease in power burn totals, as power burn fell 2.7 Bcf/d to 36.8 Bcf/d Friday, Platts Analytics data showed.

Midwest power burn saw the largest decrease on the day, falling 24% to 2.89 Bcf/d, according to Platts Analytics.

The decrease in US demand has mitigated the recent strength in the market and reverted back to the bearish sentiment the market has been experiencing over the summer.

Adding to the bearish sentiment, the continued strong US dry gas production remained above 80 Bcf/d for the seventh consecutive day as production fell 600 MMcf/d to 80.6 Bcf/d Friday, according to Platts Analytics data.

The strong production has kept a handle on the NYMEX futures prices as inventories currently stand at 2,354 Bcf, widening the deficit to the five-year average to 572 Bcf.

The forecast for the weekly storage change for the week ending August 9 is a 29-Bcf/d build, well below the five-year average of a 56-Bcf/d increase for the same week, according to Platts Analytics.

Looking ahead to the NYMEX winter strip, the market has expressed confidence in producers' ability to make up for the storage deficit going into the winter months, as November and March currently sit below the $3/MMBtu mark.

--Arsalan Syed,

--Edited by Jennifer Pedrick,