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U.S. natgas jumps 5% to 11-week high on colder February outlook

    Feb 2 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures jumped 5% to an 11-week high on Tuesday as a major winter
snowstorm continued to batter the Northeast and on forecasts for even colder weather and more heating demand in
mid-February.
    Front-month gas futures were up 14.3 cents, or 5%, to $2.993 per million British thermal units at
8:41 a.m. EST (1341 GMT), putting the contract on track for its highest close since Nov. 13.
    On Monday, the front-month settled at its highest level since Dec. 1 after rising over 11%, its biggest
daily percentage gain since September.
    Commodity traders are watching closely for extraordinary price changes after a series of volatile moves in
numerous markets attributed to retail traders using Reddit, a social network. Those traders caused big moves in
small stocks like video game retailer GameStop Corp in late January and silver over the past few
days, prompting some to wonder whether the "Reddit crowd" was migrating into other fast-moving commodity markets
like gas.
    Energy traders, however, said they have not heard that Reddit users were having much of an impact on the gas
market, but suggested they could have boosted interest in the U.S. Natural Gas Fund (UNG). Volume on UNG
hit 10.7 million lots on Monday, its highest daily volume since December. That compares with a daily average of
around 5.1 million lots traded over the past year. Exchange-traded funds are viewed as more vulnerable to
herd-like activity than underlying futures contracts. So far on Tuesday, just over 300,000 UNG lots have traded.
    Data provider Refinitiv projected average gas demand, including exports, would rise from 127.4 billion cubic
feet per day (bcfd) this week to 143.0 bcfd next week as the weather turns colder and heating use increases.
That forecast for next week was much higher than Refinitiv's outlook on Monday.
    In the spot market, meanwhile, cold weather this week boosted next-day gas at the Dominion South hub
NG-PCN-APP-SNL in southwest Pennsylvania to its highest level since March 2019. Week ended     Week ended    Year ago    Five-year   
                                                 Jan 29        Jan 22        Jan 29      average    
                                               (Forecast)      (Actual)                  Jan 29     
 U.S. natgas storage (bcf):                       -184           -128         -155         -146 Global Gas Benchmark Futures ($ per mmBtu)    Current Day    Prior Day    This Month   Prior Year   Five Year
                                                                            Last Year    Average      Average
                                                                                           2020     (2016-2020)
 Henry Hub                                        2.98           2.75         1.84         2.13         2.66
 Title Transfer Facility (TTF)                    6.50           6.41         2.91         3.24         5.19
 Japan Korea Marker (JKM)                         8.52           8.87         3.29         4.22         6.49 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                                     508           471           388         422          424
 U.S. GFS CDDs                                      2              2            5           4            3
 U.S. GFS TDDs                                     510           473           393         428          425 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                     90.8           90.5         90.7         93.0         81.0
 U.S. Imports from Canada                          9.0           9.3           9.3         8.4          8.6
 U.S. LNG Imports                                  0.1           0.1           0.0         0.3          0.3
 Total U.S. Supply                                100.0         100.0         100.1       101.7         89.9
 
 U.S. Demand (bcfd)
 U.S. Exports to Canada                            2.5           2.8           2.9         2.7          2.6
 U.S. Exports to Mexico                            6.1           5.6           5.7         5.2          4.5
 U.S. LNG Exports                                 10.0           10.8         11.0         9.3          3.2
 U.S. Commercial                                  18.2           18.1         21.9         14.7         14.9
 U.S. Residential                                 31.1           30.5         37.5         24.0         24.7
 U.S. Power Plant                                 28.2           26.9         29.2         30.0         25.4
 U.S. Industrial                                  25.5           25.3         26.9         24.5         24.4
 U.S. Plant Fuel                                   4.5           4.5           4.5         4.5          4.5
 U.S. Pipe Distribution                            2.9           2.9           3.3         2.9          2.9
 U.S. Vehicle Fuel                                 0.1           0.1           0.1         0.1          0.1
 Total U.S. Consumption                           110.5         108.2         123.4       100.7         96.9
 Total U.S. Demand                                129.1         127.4         143.0       117.9        107.2 SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)                                                 
 Hub                                           Current Day    Prior Day                             
 Henry Hub NG-W-HH-SNL                          2.88           2.68                               
 Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL               4.91           2.98                               
 PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL                    3.62           3.52                               
 Dominion South NG-PCN-APP-SNL                  2.58           2.38                               
 Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL                  2.77           2.64                               
 Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL                8.35           5.50                               
 SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL                  3.22           3.45                               
 Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL                        2.66           2.50 SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)                                               
 Hub                                           Current Day    Prior Day                             
 New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL                     70.00         91.50                               
 PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL                        32.75         36.75                               
 Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL                     23.25         16.75                               
 Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL                           34.75         33.00                               
 Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL                      31.50         26.50                               
 SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL                           32.00         26.75                               
 
 (Reporting by Scott DiSavino
Editing by Paul Simao)
  
 
 
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