U.S. natural gas futures fell to a two-month low on Monday, weighed down by record output while mild weather limited heating demand.
Front-month gas futures for December delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange were down 9.9 cents, or 3.5%, at $2.76 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) by 10:14 a.m. EST (1514 GMT), having earlier fallen more than 5% to their lowest since late September.
The December contract expires as the front-month on Tuesday. Volatility often peaks near expiry because trading volumes are low.
There have been some supply gains and the temperatures have moderated, which is creating some bearish sentiment in the market, said Robert DiDona of Energy Ventures Analysis.
“There is a possibility of price volatility in the near term. It all depends on the early winter heating season, if we start to see big withdrawals, then we will see upside in prices.”
Financial firm LSEG said average gas output in the Lower 48 U.S. states has risen to 107.4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far in November, up from a record 104.2 bcfd in October.
LSEG forecast U.S. gas demand in the Lower 48 states, including exports, would fall to 120.4 bcfd next week from 129.7 bcfd this week.
“Overall, this looks like a market that can gravitate a bit lower and although we have suggested entry into the long side last week at the $3 level, we are going to step aside from a bullish stance while looking to reinstate suggested longs on a further decline to the $2.70-2.75 area,” said analysts at energy advisory Ritterbusch and Associates in a note.
Gas flows to the seven big U.S. LNG export plants rose to an average of 14.8 bcfd so far in November, up from 13.7 bcfd in October and a monthly record of 14.0 bcfd in April.
The U.S. is on track to become the world’s biggest LNG supplier in 2023, ahead of recent leaders Australia and Qatar. Much higher global prices have fed demand for U.S. exports due in part to supply disruptions and sanctions linked to the war in Ukraine.
(Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)