Natural gas in storage fell 3 billion cubic feet to 2,477 bcf in the April 8 week. Stocks remain at historically high levels, up 62.9 percent from the same time last year and 52.1 percent above the 5-year average for this period, but they have moved back inside the 5-year range. Natural gas futures rose about 3 cents to $2.01 per MMBtu immediately after the release of the report.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) provides weekly information on natural gas stocks in underground storage for the U.S. and three regions of the country. The level of inventories helps determine prices for natural gas products.
Natural gas product prices are determined by supply and demand - just like any other good and service. During periods of strong economic growth, one would expect demand to be robust. If inventories are low, this will lead to increases in natural gas. If inventories are high and rising in a period of strong demand, prices may not need to increase at all, or as much. During a period of sluggish economic activity, demand for natural gas may not be as strong. If inventories are rising, this may push down oil prices.
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