Natural gas futures soar as cold weather reduces stockpiles

Below Normal

The low in Boston on Feb. 25 may be 18 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 8 Celsius), 9 less than usual, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Cincinnati temperatures may also fall to 18 degrees Fahrenheit, 9 below average.

“Another snowstorm in the U.S. is likely to keep heating demand at a high level and spark a further decline in the already severely diminished stocks of heating oil and natural gas,” Eugen Weinberg, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in a note to clients today.

January was the coldest start to a year since 2001, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. About 49 percent of U.S. households use gas for heating, with the biggest share in the Midwest.

Gas stockpiles totaled 1.686 trillion cubic feet in the week ended Feb. 7, reaching record deficits to the five-year average and year-ago supplies.

Stocks at the end of March, when the heating season draws to a close, will drop to 1.33 trillion cubic feet, the lowest level since 2008, the Energy Information Administration said Feb. 11 in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook. The EIA is the Energy Department’s statistical arm.

 
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