Natural Gas Soars to 4-Year High on Supply View as Cold Lingers

Feb 05, 2014 9:37 am ET

Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Natural gas futures surged to a four- year high in New York on speculation that bitterly cold weather will erode inventories of the heating fuel to a decade low by the end of the winter.

Gas jumped as much as 6.7 percent. Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, predicted below-normal temperatures across most of the contiguous U.S. through Feb. 14. An Energy Information Administration report tomorrow may show stockpiles slid by 273 billion cubic feet last week, compared with a five- year average decrease of 151 billion, according to the median of 13 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“The storage number tomorrow is going to be another doozy,” said Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. in New York. “Inventories are getting closer to 1 trillion cubic feet, which hasn’t happened since the mid-2000s. We have the possibility of more snow and cold over the weekend.”

Natural gas for March delivery rose 20.9 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $5.584 per million British thermal units at 9:24 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange after climbing to $5.737 in earlier intraday trading, the highest since Jan. 25, 2010. Trading volume was more than double the 100-day average. Prices are up 32 percent this year.

--Editors: Bill Banker, David Marino