Spring Gas-Demand Lull Sends U.S. Futures Lower for Second Week

Lackluster spring demand for natural gas sent U.S. futures lower for a second week, stalling a rally from a 17-year low.

The U.S. East Coast will see a mix of average and below-normal temperatures next week, while the upper Midwest may be warmer than usual, limiting gas consumption for heating and cooling, according to MDA Weather Services.

While gas has climbed 28 percent from a 1998 low in March on speculation that exports and a slowdown in production will support prices, output from shale basins has left a glut of the fuel in storage. Without a hot summer, stockpiles will be on course to reach a record.

“We’re just not seeing an impressive amount of heating demand being generated,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in New York. “The oversupply in the gas market is always just offstage.”

Natural gas for June delivery fell 5.9 cents, or 2.7 percent, to settle Friday at $2.096 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices slid 0.2 percent this week and are down 10 percent this year.

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