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Natural Gas Edges Up After Inventories Rise As Expected

May 24, 2018 at 17:10 by Andrew Moran

Natural gas futures are rallying on Thursday after the US government reported that domestic inventories rose as the market had anticipated. After a sluggish start to the year, natural gas prices are advancing at a rapid rate and are on track for a considerable weekly gain.

July natural gas futures jumped $0.013, or 0.44%, to $2.968 per million British thermal units at 16:42 GMT on Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Over the last five trading sessions, natural gas has surged more than 3% and is up nearly 8% since the middle of February.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), domestic stockpiles of natural gas climbed by 91 billion cubic feet for the week ending May 18, which is slightly lower than the 93 billion cubic feet analysts had projected. Total natural gas supplies now stand at 1.629 trillion cubic feet, down 804 billion cubic feet from the same time a year ago, and 499 billion below the five-year average.

Experts are attributing the warmer-than-normal temperatures across the country during the latest EIA storage period to the storage increase. This means less consumption for US natural gas.

In other energy markets, July gasoline futures were down $0.018, or 0.81%, to $2.236 per gallon. July heating oil futures slipped $0.016, or 0.70%, to $2.2698 a gallon.

On Wednesday, the EIA reported that domestic oil stockpiles increased by 5.8 million barrels, while US crude output was unchanged at 10.7 million barrels per day (bpd). Gasoline supplies swelled 1.9 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell one million barrels.

July West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slumped $0.76, or 1.06%, to $71.08 a barrel. July Brent crude futures slid $0.59, or 0.74%, to $79.21 per barrel.

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