The U.S. government is set to release its natural gas data, which is expected to reveal an increase in inventories for the previous week. This growth in stockpiles will likely keep prices stable, according to experts.
Analysts, brokers, and traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal predict that gas in storage rose by 79.2 billion cubic feet during the week ending October 20th. Estimates vary between 76 bcf and 88 bcf. In comparison, last year saw a rise of 61 bcf during the same week, with the five-year average increase being 66 bcf.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release the natural gas storage data at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. If the predicted increase of 79.2 bcf holds true, it would mean gas stockpiles would reach approximately 3.71 trillion cubic feet. This represents a 9% increase from last year and a 5.3% surplus compared to the five-year average.
The abundance of U.S. natural gas production this year has outpaced the limited national demand caused by a mild winter and slower economic activity. The surplus in inventory reached 24% above normal during the spring, but consumption increased during the hot summer months, narrowing the surplus.
As a result of the anticipated increase in inventories, natural gas futures are up by 1% at $3.00 per mmBtu.