Investing.com – Natural gas futures were little changed on Thursday, despite data showing that natural gas supplies in the U.S. fell for the first time this season.
for delivery in December on the New York Mercantile Exchange tacked on 0.6 cents, or 0.3%, to trade at $ 2.171 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours. Prices were at around $ 2.167 prior to the release of the supply data.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that in the U.S. in the week ended November 27 fell by 53 billion cubic feet, compared to expectations for a decline of 51 billion.
That compared with a build of 9 billion cubic feet in the prior week, a withdrawal of 22 billion cubic feet in the same week last year, while the five-year average change for the week is a drawdown of 50 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.956 trillion cubic feet, 13.7% higher than levels at this time a year ago and 6.2% above the five-year average for this time of year.
Last spring, supplies were 55% below the five-year average, indicating producers have more than made up for all of last winter’s unusually strong demand.
A day earlier, natural gas prices lost 6.6 cents, or 2.96%, after weather forecasts for early December pointed to mild temperatures, dampening near-term heating demand expectations.
Natural gas futures have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on winter heating demand.
The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption.
Natural gas prices typically rise ahead of the winter as colder weather sparks heating demand. But a mild start to the winter heating season underlined concerns over a deepening supply glut, driving prices to multi-year lows near $ 2 per million British thermal units at the end of October.
Elsewhere on the Nymex, for delivery in January rose 22 cents, or 0.55%, to trade at $ 40.16 a barrel, while for January delivery inched up 0.94% to trade at $ 1.317 per gallon.
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