Natural gas futures drop in December

Natural gas futures fell on the New York Mercantile Exchange by 6 cents to stop at $3.642 per million British thermal units.

Natural gas futures fell on the New York Mercantile Exchange by 6 cents to stop at $3.642 per million British thermal units, Bloomberg reported Dec. 18. It was the third time in a four days natural gas futures dropped on the exchange following forecasts of warm weather that would reduce heating demand. Weather reports touted the temperature would be above average through Dec. 27.

The decline in futures also followed the report that U.S. natural gas stockpiles declined by 64 billion cubic feet during the second week in December, but supplies remain above the level from a year ago for the first time in two years, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The EIA's Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report stated natural gas inventories totaled 3,295 bcf as of Dec. 12, up from the 3,289 bcf stored the same week in 2013.

The decline aligned with analysts from Platts predictions, according to MarketWatch. Platts predicted the EIA would reported a reduction of 60 bcf to 64 bcf.

"The weather's been mild so far in December, and if we see that continue, prices are going to move even lower," Kent Bayazitoglu, analyst at Gelber & Associates in Texas, said, according to Bloomberg. "The storage withdrawal was really low for this time of year."

More information on natural gas futures can be found at PennEnergy's research area.

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