Natural Gas Futures Decline as Mild Weather Limits Consumption

Natural gas futures dropped in New York for the first time in three days on forecasts for mild weather that would limit power-plant demand, easing concern that supply will fall short of summer needs.

Gas slipped as much as 1.2 percent after climbing 2.3 percent yesterday. Commodity Weather Group LLC predicted mostly normal temperatures on the East Coast from May 21 through May 25. The high in New York on May 21 may be 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Celsius), 1 more than average, according to AccuWeather Inc. Gas stockpiles totaled 1.16 trillion cubic feet in the week ended May 9, the lowest for that period since 2003.

“Traders are looking for some air-conditioning demand, and right now we’re not seeing anything,” said Tom Saal, senior vice president of energy trading at FCStone Latin America LLC in Miami. “We’re seeing some profit-taking ahead of the weekend after yesterday’s rally.”

Natural gas for June delivery fell 4.4 cents, or 1 percent, to $4.425 per million British thermal units at 9:18 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volume for all futures traded was 1 percent below the 100-day average. The futures are down 2.4 percent this week and have risen 4.6 percent this year.

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To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dan Stets at Bill Banker, Charlotte Porter

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