The U.S. Energ Information Administration (EIA) reported Thursday morning that U.S. natural gas stocks increased by 90 billion cubic feet for the week ending April 17. Analysts expected a storage injection (increase) of 86 to 90 billion cubic feet. The five-year average for the week is a 50 billion cubic foot injection.
Natural gas futures for May delivery traded down in advance of the EIA’s report, at around $2.55 per million BTUs, and slipped to $2.52 (down about 3% for the day) following release of the report. Last Thursday, natural gas closed at $2.68 per million BTUs and natural gas futures have dropped by about $0.15 per million BTUs over the past five trading days. The 52-week low for natural gas futures is $2.48. One year ago, the price for a million BTUs was around $4.20.