Natural Gas Declines on Forecasts for Above-Normal Temperatures

Natural gas retreated as forecasts for above-average temperatures spurred concern that the U.S. winter will be too mild to erode a stockpile surplus.

Gas dropped as much as 2.2 percent as warmer-than-normal weather will blanket the central and eastern half of the country Jan. 6 through Jan. 10, according to MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Denver will decline to a low of 27 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 3 Celsius) on Jan. 6, 11 higher than usual, according to AccuWeather Inc.

“Although we are going to see some cold in the next week or so, it’s not going to last much longer than that,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “We have to keep an eye out on how that storage number comes out.”

Natural gas for January delivery fell 6.8 cents, or 2 percent, to $3.324 per million British thermal units at 9:20 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gas has risen 11 percent this year. The January contract expires today. The more actively traded February futures dropped 6.1 cents to $3.364 per million Btu. Futures trading volume was down 49 percent from the 100-day average.

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