U.S. Gas Climbs to 1-Month High as Blizzard Bears Down on EastBy
Storm to bring snow, winds to New England and Mid-Atlantic
Gas stockpiles remain above normal for the time of year
A blizzard bearing down on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard pushed natural gas futures to a one-month high on speculation that demand for the heating fuel will surge during the storm, shrinking a supply glut.
The weather system may dump as much as 20 inches (51 centimeters) of snow from Connecticut to Long Island, including New York City, according to the National Weather Service. A deep freeze is poised to linger in the Northeast after the storm passes, sending Boston’s low to 15 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 9 Celsius) on March 16, 16 below average, AccuWeather Inc. data show.
The late-winter cold blast is giving gas bulls a break after a warm start to the season sent the market plunging to an eight-month low. While gas stockpiles are still above normal for this time of year, frigid conditions could erode the surplus and stave off another price collapse before the summer.
“It’s not just tomorrow’s storm, but the forecast going out to late March that should be supportive for prices,” said Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA in New York. “But we’re coming to the end of the season, and storage is pretty healthy.”
Gas futures for April delivery rose 3.5 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $3.043 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since Feb. 9. Gas is still down 18 percent this year, the worst performer among major commodities.