Thursday, March 29, 2012

Natural Gas Futures Collapse after EIA Shows Bigger-than-expected Inventory Rise

Still looking for sub-$2 by May-June, $1.80 best guess.
At $2.15, last.
From Dow Jones Newswires:
--EIA said inventories rose 57 bcf last week
--Analysts saw 46 bcf rise in stockpiles - survey
Natural gas futures plunged Thursday after the government reported a bigger-than-expected increase in gas inventories last week, underscoring weak demand for the fuel in the face of elevated production.
Front-month futures dropped more than 5 cents in the first minute alone after the release of the 10:30 a.m. EDT report, which showed inventories last week rose 57 billion cubic feet.
The rise was well above the 46-bcf build projected in a Dow Jones Newswires survey of analysts.
"It's falling like a rock after that storage number," said Eric Bickel, analyst at Summit Energy in Louisville, Ky.

Natural gas for May delivery recently traded down 9.8 cents, or 4.3%, to $2.184 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The contract fell as low as $2.165, cheaper than the Wednesday $2.191 expiration price of the April contract, which was a 10-year settlement low. May futures began the day more expensive than April's finish.
The sizable build comes amid weak demand for natural gas and near-record production from shale fields. The unusually mild winter and early spring has clobbered demand for natural gas used to heat homes and offices, leaving natural gas stores brimming and prices swooning....MORE
This follows on Tuesday's "Here We Go: "US spot natgas prices drop for fourth time in 5 days"' and at least three-score posts since November.