The latest weekly natural gas storage report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) recorded a strong increase of 51bn cubic feet (Bcf) compared with expectations of a build of around 38 Bcf and the increase also of 11 Bcf seen the previous week.
Stocks were 238 Bcf higher than this time last year and 334 Bcf (10.9%) above the five-year average from 11.7% last week. Overall stocks at 3,401 Bcf are back above the 5-year maximum after briefly touching this level in late August.
The data overall represents a setback to hopes that inventories will continue to come under greater control and will tend to be a barrier to price gains.
Stocks in the Pacific region were 6.1% below the five-year average, while stocks in the Mountain region were still 24.7% above the five-year average.