The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) natural gas storage data recorded a build of 43 Billion Cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending August 18th. The increase was below the build of 53 Bcf recorded last week and also marginally below consensus forecasts of a 45 Bcf increase.
Stocks overall are 6.7% below the year-ago level and 1.5% above the five-year average.
There was a further increase in stocks in the East and Midwest for the week, maintaining the pattern seen throughout the past few weeks. Stocks did decline in the South Central region for the sixth successive week with a slightly faster than expected decline compared with the previous week while there were small gains in the Mountain and Pacific regions.
Macroeconomic influences were limited on Thursday with the dollar little changed overall while crude oil prices retreated over 1.0% on the day. Natural gas prices moved higher during the European session with a move above $2.95 per mBtu.
Prices edged higher after the release with a move to just above $2.97, but there was no sustained move higher with consolidation around $2.96.
The latest weather forecasts suggest that overall gas demand will be moderate over the next few days which limit the potential for upward pressure on prices.