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U.S. natgas hits fresh 9-month high as hurricane heads for Gulf of Mexico

    Aug 25 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures were on track to
hit a fresh nine-month high on Tuesday with daily output
expected to fall to its lowest since May as producers shut
offshore wells in the Gulf of Mexico before Hurricane Laura hits
the region later this week.
    That higher price move came despite forecasts for less
demand over the next two weeks than previously expected as
vessels carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) steered clear of
U.S. Gulf of Mexico LNG export terminals.
    Hurricane Laura is expected to strengthen into a major
Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 115 miles
per hour (185 kilometers per hour) before hitting the Gulf Coast
near the Texas-Louisiana border, while the remnants of Tropical
Storm Marco continue to swirl off the Louisiana coast.

    Front-month gas futures rose 1.2 cents, or 0.5%, to
$2.525 per million British thermal units at 8:39 a.m. EDT (1239
GMT). On Monday, the contract closed at its highest since Nov.
25.
    Although U.S., European and Asian gas contracts mostly trade
on their own fundamentals, a 40% jump in prices at the
Netherlands Title Transfer Facility (TTF) in Europe
and a 53% increase at the Japan-Korea Marker (JKM) in
Asia so far in August have made U.S. LNG more attractive in
global markets, which helped push U.S. gas futures up about 40%
this month.
    On a daily basis, U.S. LNG exports were on track to fall to
a two-week low of 4.1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) as
Hurricane Laura heads toward the nation's biggest LNG export
terminal, Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine Pass in
Louisiana.
    On a daily basis, U.S. output was on track to fall to a
three-month low of 84.9 bcfd, according to preliminary data from
Refinitiv that is subject to change later in the day.
    
                                       Week ended      Week ended    Year ago   Five-year   
                                          Aug 21          Aug         Aug 21     average    
                                        (Forecast)     14(Actual)                 Aug 21    
 U.S. natgas storage (bcf):                +50            +43          +60         +49 Refinitiv Heating (HDD), Cooling (CDD) and Total (TDD) Degree Days                         
 Two-Week Total Forecast               Current Day     Prior Day    Prior Year   10-Year    30-Year Norm
                                                                                   Norm     
 U.S. GFS HDDs                              5              6            4           10           10
 U.S. GFS CDDs                             194            197          179         168          156
 U.S. GFS TDDs                             199            203          183         178          166
                                                                                            
 Refinitiv U.S. Weekly GFS Supply and Demand Forecasts                                      
                                        Prior Week    Current Week  Next Week   This Week    Five-Year
                                                                                Last Year   Average For
                                                                                               Month
 U.S. Supply (bcfd)
 U.S. Lower 48 Dry Production              88.6           86.7         87.0        92.7         79.1
 U.S. Imports from Canada                  6.6            7.0          7.0         7.7          8.0
 U.S. LNG Imports                          0.0            0.0          0.0         0.0          0.2
 Total U.S. Supply                         95.2           93.7         94.0       100.4         87.3
 
 U.S. Demand (bcfd)
 U.S. Exports to Canada                    2.0            1.9          1.9         3.1          2.2
 U.S. Exports to Mexico                    5.7            6.0          5.8         5.5          4.4
 U.S. LNG Exports                          4.7            4.5          4.2         6.5          2.0
 U.S. Commercial                           4.5            4.5          4.6         4.5          4.5
 U.S. Residential                          3.5            3.6          3.6         3.6          3.3
 U.S. Power Plant                          41.8           42.1         38.6        33.9         36.6
 U.S. Industrial                           21.6           21.5         21.5        21.5         20.6
 U.S. Plant Fuel                           4.4            4.3          4.3         4.3          4.3
 U.S. Pipe Distribution                    2.1            2.1          2.0         2.1          2.0
 U.S. Vehicle Fuel                         0.1            0.1          0.1         0.1          0.1
 Total U.S. Consumption                    77.9           78.2         74.8        70.0         71.4
 Total U.S. Demand                         90.4           90.6         86.6        85.1         80.0 SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)                                         
 Hub                                   Current Day     Prior Day                            
 Henry Hub NG-W-HH-SNL                   2.57           2.39                              
 Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL        1.88           1.30                              
 PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL             3.45           3.20                              
 Dominion South NG-PCN-APP-SNL           1.35           1.15                              
 Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL           2.40           2.15                              
 Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL         1.76           1.31                              
 SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL           4.35           4.09                              
 Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL                 1.32           1.24 SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)                                       
 Hub                                   Current Day     Prior Day                            
 New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL             33.50          26.75                              
 PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL                34.50          29.00                              
 Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL             18.75          33.00                              
 Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL                   56.75          32.08                              
 Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL              125.25         105.50                             
 SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL                   80.25          57.00                              
 
 (Reporting by Scott DiSavino)
  
 
 
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