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Natural Gas Futures Drop for Second Day on Forecasts for Thaw

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Natural gas futures slid for a second day in New York as forecasts showed moderating weather that would reduce heating-fuel consumption.

Gas slipped as much as 1.7 percent after reaching a five-year intraday high yesterday. Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, predicted above-normal temperatures in the eastern and southern U.S. through Feb. 25. The low in New York on Feb. 23 may be 34 degrees Fahrenheit (1 Celsius), 4 more than usual, said AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

“If we don’t see the cold weather forecasts extended even more, the market is going to continue to pull back,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “The factors that prompted the rally to five-year highs have been priced in.”

Natural gas for March delivery fell 4.1 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $6.023 per million British thermal units at 10:22 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 14 percent above the average for the time of day. The futures are up 16 percent this week and surged to $6.40 per million Btu in intraday trading yesterday, the highest since Dec. 4, 2008.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Buurma in New York at cbuurma1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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