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Natural Gas Futures Jump on Decline in Domestic Supplies

February 8, 2018 at 17:48 by Andrew Moran

Natural gas prices edged up on Thursday following a new US government report that showed domestic supplies took a hit last week. This comes as oil futures are plunging more than 1% in another volatile trading session.

March natural gas futures rose $0.021, or 0.78%, to $2.723 per million British thermal units (btu) at 16:34 GMT on Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US natural gas stockpiles declined by 119 billion cubic feet for the week ending February 2. Total natural gas supplies stand at 2.078 trillion cubic feet, which is down 503 billion cubic feet from the same time a year ago, and 393 billion under the five-year average. The weekly drop is bigger than what the market anticipated.

Traders will now pay attention to weather reports to determine winter conditions in March and as far as April. Right now, a typical winter is impacting many parts of the US, and there are expectations of cold spells heading into March and April.

In other energy markets, March gasoline futures dipped $0.0136, or 0.77%, to $1.7524 per gallon; and March heating oil futures tumbled $0.0178, or 0.92%, to $1.9135 a gallon.

Crude futures have been taking a beating this week. March West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures plunged $0.95, or 1.54%, to $60.84 per barrel; and April Brent crude futures plummeted $0.86, or 1.31%, to $64.65 a barrel.

On Wednesday, the EIA reported that domestic crude supplies climbed 1.9 million barrels for the week, while US production surged 332,000 barrels to 10.251 million barrels per day (bpd). Gasoline stockpiles jumped by 3.4 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles advanced 3.9 million barrels.

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