U.S. natural gas futures gained almost 3% on Thursday following forecasts of colder weather over the next two weeks than what was previously expected. Demand for heating rose unexpectedly as a result.
Investors are awaiting the release of a federal report that is expected to show that last week’s storage withdrawal was lower than usual for this time of year due to mild weather keeping heating demands low. In addition, prices were on the rise as Freeport LNG’s export plant in Texas upped the volume of gas flowing through the facility, thereby reversing last week’s decline.
While pulling in just 0.2 billion cubic feet per day on Tuesday, Freeport LNG’s Texas plant was on track to pull in 0.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of gas on Wednesday and Thursday. The plant returned to operation in February after a fire had caused a hiatus since June 2022.
Front-month gas futures for April delivery rose 6.3 cents, or 2.5%, to $2.614 per million British thermal units on Thursday morning. This is a sharp u-turn from the 5% decline that was incurred on Wednesday, sending the futures to their lowest point since February 24.