Natural gas advanced for the ninth time in ten days on forecasts for colder weather in the U.S. and before a government report that may show inventories fell.
Futures for January delivery climbed as much as 0.5 percent to $3.995 per million British thermal units in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and were at $3.994 at 9:56 a.m. Singapore time. The contract dropped 1.2 cents to settle at $3.976 yesterday. The volume of all futures traded was about 33 percent above the 100-day average.
“Heating demand is moderate this week but is expected to surge next week with temperatures forecast to plunge,” said Stephen Schork, the president of the Schork Group Inc., an energy consultant in Villanova, Pennsylvania. “The market is looking for a massive draw” of gas from inventories, he said.
Chicago’s low on Dec. 10 will drop to 8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 13 Celsius), 16 below normal, from yesterday’s reading of 46 degrees, 9 above normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.
About 49 percent of U.S. households use gas for heating and 39 percent use electricity, data show from the EIA show. The peak heating-demand season extends from November through March.
U.S. gas inventories probably fell by 145 billion cubic feet last week, based on the median of eight analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The five-year average for the period is a drop of 41 billion cubic feet. The Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, releases its weekly gas inventory report every Thursday.
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