Investing.com — Natural gas prices rose on Thursday for the first time in three sessions after a smaller-than-expected storage build for last week helped steady a market that lost 8% of its value over just 48 hours.
, the most-active contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Henry Hub, rose 3.3 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $2.701 per mmBtu, or metric million British thermal units.
The hub’s benchmark gas futures lost 18.8 cents over Tuesday and Wednesday on concerns about insipid demand for gas-driven cooling since the official start of the U.S. summer on June 21.
Thursday’s rebound, however, came after the Energy Information Administration, or EIA, reported that U.S. rose by just 76 bcf, or billion cubic feet, during the week ended June 23.
Weekly gas build comes just below forecast
Industry analysts tracked by Investing.com had a consensus for a build of 83 bcf instead for the week.
The 76-bcf injection into storage compared with the 81-bcf build seen during the same week a year ago and the five-year (2018-2022) average increase of 80 bcf.
With the latest build, total gas held in inventory across the United States stood at 2.239 tcf, or trillion cubic feet. That was 25.3% above the same week a year ago and about 14.6% above the five-year average.
It has been an interesting time for natural gas, with bulls managing to keep the market in the positive for most of the month despite the mixed heat trends across the country.
With a gain of just over 18% for June, futures on the Henry Hub are headed for their best month in almost a year. The last time the market rallied more in a month was in July 2022, when it gained 46%.