U.S. Gas Falls to 3-Week Low on Lack of ‘Oomph’ in Mild Weather

U.S. natural gas futures capped the first weekly loss of the month, lacking enough “oomph” to prolong a rally as demand plunged amid mild spring weather and robust production.

Weather forecasts turned warmer overnight, with above-normal temperatures in the Midwest through most of the East Coast for April 20-29, according to Commodity Weather Group LLC. Total U.S. gas demand was down 13 percent to 62.68 billion cubic feet Friday from a week ago, data from PointLogic Energy showed.

Gas futures, which rallied from a 17-year low in early March, have lost momentum this month. Prices have been trapped within a narrow 19-cent range after swinging in a range of 88.4 cents during the first three months of the year. The warmest U.S. winter on record curtailed demand, expanding a stockpile glut while production from shale basins filled storage caverns.

“April and May are the shoulder months when we don’t expect a lot of weather activity, and we aren’t getting it,” said Tom Saal, senior vice president of energy trading at FCStone Latin America LLC in Miami. “We are range-bound. There’s just not enough oomph in this market to push it out of this range.”

Natural gas for May delivery fell 6.8 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $1.902 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since March 28. The futures slid 4.4 percent this week.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.