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U.S. natgas rises to 9-month high as output collapses ahead of Hurricane Laura

    Aug 26 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures were on track to hit a fresh nine-month high on
Wednesday as output dropped to its lowest since 2018 as producers shut offshore wells ahead of Hurricane
Laura.
    That higher price move came despite a drop in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to an 18-month low
as vessels steered clear of the storm.
    Hurricane Laura is expected to strengthen into a major Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130
miles per hour (109 kph) before slamming into the Gulf Coast near the Texas-Louisiana border tonight.

    On its second to last day as the front-month, gas futures for September delivery rose 3.4
cents, or 1.4%, to $2.523 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) at 8:32 a.m. EDT (1232 GMT), putting
the contract on track for its highest close since Nov. 25.
    The October contract, which will soon be the front-month, was up 1.2% to $2.63 per mmBtu.
    Although U.S., European and Asian gas contracts mostly trade on their own fundamentals, a 76% jump
in prices at the Netherlands Title Transfer Facility (TTF) in Europe and a 57% 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 41% this month.
    On a daily basis, U.S. LNG exports were on track to fall to 2.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd),
their lowest since February 2019, as exporters shut or reduced output at their Gulf Coast terminals
ahead of Laura. The amount of gas flowing to Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine Pass plant in
Louisiana fell to zero for the first time since it started operating in 2016.
    U.S. output, meanwhile, was on track to drop to 84.2 bcfd, its lowest since September 2018,
according to preliminary data from Refinitiv.
        
                                       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                              6              5            4           10           11
 U.S. GFS CDDs                             195            194          179         168          153
 U.S. GFS TDDs                             201            199          183         178          164
                                                                                            
 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           86.4         86.6        92.7         79.1
 U.S. Imports from Canada                  6.6            7.1          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           93.4         93.6       100.4         87.3
 
 U.S. Demand (bcfd)
 U.S. Exports to Canada                    2.0            1.9          1.8         3.1          2.2
 U.S. Exports to Mexico                    5.7            6.1          5.8         5.5          4.4
 U.S. LNG Exports                          4.7            4.0          3.4         6.5          2.0
 U.S. Commercial                           4.5            4.5          4.6         4.5          4.5
 U.S. Residential                          3.5            3.6          3.7         3.6          3.3
 U.S. Power Plant                          41.8           42.6         39.3        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           78.7         75.4        70.0         71.4
 Total U.S. Demand                         90.4           90.6         86.4        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                   2.54           2.57                              
 Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL        1.69           1.88                              
 PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL             3.50           3.45                              
 Dominion South NG-PCN-APP-SNL           1.28           1.35                              
 Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL           2.38           2.40                              
 Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL         1.51           1.76                              
 SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL           4.85           4.35                              
 Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL                 1.44           1.32 SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)                                       
 Hub                                   Current Day     Prior Day                            
 New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL             21.25          33.50                              
 PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL                26.00          34.50                              
 Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL             30.92          18.75                              
 Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL                   23.50          56.75                              
 Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL              122.00         125.25                             
 SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL                   79.25          80.25                              
 
 (Reporting by Scott DiSavino
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
  
 
 
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