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U.S. natgas slips to 3-week low on cooler forecasts ahead of storage report

    Sept 10 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures slipped to a three-week low on Thursday on forecasts
for cooler weather and less air conditioning demand next week than previously expected.
    That price decline came despite a continued increase in liquefied natural gas exports and record
sales to Mexico. It also came ahead of a federal report expected to show a near-normal storage build
last week.
    Analysts said U.S. utilities injected 68 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas into storage in the week
ended Sept. 4. That compares with an increase of 80 bcf during the same week last year and a five-year
(2015-19) average build of 68 bcf.
    If correct, the increase would bring stockpiles to 3.523 trillion cubic feet (tcf), 13.1% above the
five-year average of 3.116 tcf for this time of year.
    Front-month gas futures fell 4.9 cents, or 2.0%, to $2.357 per million British thermal units
by 8:17 a.m. EDT (1217 GMT).
    Even though the weather is expected to turn cooler in mid-September, Refinitiv projected U.S.
demand would rise to an average of 85.4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) next week, from 84.0 bcfd
this week, due to an increase in exports. That forecast for next week, however, is lower than
Refinitiv's projection on Wednesday.
    The amount of gas flowing to U.S. LNG export terminals was on track to rise for a second month in a
row for the first time since February to 4.4 bcfd in September as Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine
Pass plant in Louisiana ramps up after shutting in late August for Hurricane Laura.
    Coronavirus demand destruction caused U.S. LNG exports to drop every month from March to July when
flows to plants fell to a 21-month low of 3.3 bcfd as buyers canceled cargoes. Flows to LNG export
terminals hit a record 8.7 bcfd in February.
            
                                       Week ended     Week ended    Year ago   Five-year   
                                          Sep 4         Aug 28       Sep 4      average    
                                       (Forecast)      (Actual)                  Sep 4     
 U.S. natgas storage (bcf):                +68           +35          +80         +68 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                             33             31           10          24           35
 U.S. GFS CDDs                             112           120          164         130          107
 U.S. GFS TDDs                             145           151          174         154          142
                                                                                           
 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             87.0           88.3         88.3        93.2         79.7
 U.S. Imports from Canada                  6.3           5.8          6.6         7.8          7.9
 U.S. LNG Imports                          0.0           0.0          0.0         0.0          0.1
 Total U.S. Supply                        93.3           94.1         94.9       101.0         87.7
 
 U.S. Demand (bcfd)
 U.S. Exports to Canada                    2.0           2.1          2.1         2.4          2.3
 U.S. Exports to Mexico                    6.2           6.0          6.1         5.4          4.5
 U.S. LNG Exports                          2.9           4.8          6.5         5.9          2.1
 U.S. Commercial                           4.6           4.8          4.8         4.7          4.7
 U.S. Residential                          3.7           4.0          4.1         3.8          3.7
 U.S. Power Plant                         38.1           34.3         34.0        37.5         32.0
 U.S. Industrial                          21.5           21.6         21.4        21.2         20.6
 U.S. Plant Fuel                           4.3           4.4          4.4         4.4          4.4
 U.S. Pipe Distribution                    2.0           1.9          1.9         1.9          1.9
 U.S. Vehicle Fuel                         0.1           0.1          0.1         0.1          0.1
 Total U.S. Consumption                   74.3           71.0         70.7        73.6         67.4
 Total U.S. Demand                        85.4           84.0         85.4        87.3         76.3 SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)                                        
 Hub                                   Current Day    Prior Day                            
 Henry Hub NG-W-HH-SNL                  2.21           2.35                              
 Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL       1.64           1.73                              
 PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL            3.54           3.56                              
 Dominion South NG-PCN-APP-SNL          1.51           1.54                              
 Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL          1.95           1.98                              
 Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL        2.55           2.33                              
 SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL          3.12           3.23                              
 Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL                1.20           0.88 SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)                                      
 Hub                                   Current Day    Prior Day                            
 New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL             39.75         35.50                              
 PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL                27.75         25.50                              
 Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL             21.50         18.50                              
 Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL                   33.77         38.00                              
 Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL              35.75         31.75                              
 SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL                   37.75         34.75                              
 
 (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Aditya Soni)
  
 
 
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