The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) natural gas storage data recorded a build of 30 Billion Cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending August 25th. The increase was below the build of 43 Bcf recorded last week and also marginally below consensus forecasts of a 32 Bcf increase.
Stocks overall are 7.0% below the year-ago level and just 0.3% above the five-year average from 1.5% last week.
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 declined in the South Central region for the seventh successive week with a faster rate of decline compared with the previous week. Stocks were marginally lower in the Mountain region, although stocks here were still 9.0% above the 5-year average.
Most attention in the energy complex was still focussed on the damage from Hurricane Harvey. There were expectations pf disruption to natural gas production and transport, although on a lower scale than for the oil sector. Any sustained decline in production would provide underlying support to prices.
Natural gas moved higher after the release with a move to just below $2.94 per mBtu, although prices were unable to hold the gains as relatively narrow ranges prevailed in choppy and uncertain market conditions.
The latest weather forecasts suggest that overall gas demand will be relatively low next week with colder conditions in the East and relatively subdued overall demand for gas despite hot conditions in the West with relatively subdued overall demand.