Natural gas in storage rose 80 billion cubic feet in the September 30 week to 3,680 bcf. The increase was the largest weekly gain since June 2, though still smaller than the 98 bcf gain in the same week a year ago. With the stock building season nearing its end, stocks stood 2.1 percent above their level last year at this time and 5.9 percent above the 5-year average for the period.
Natural gas futures fell about 4 cents to $2.94 per MMBtu immediately following 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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