With spring finally having arrived across most of the U.S., natural gas injections should be seeing impressive weekly builds to the national inventory. This is particularly true in the shoulder season (spring), when temperatures are mostly mild across much of the country, neither too hot (AC demand) nor too cold (heating demand) to increase burn rates.
Despite temperatures now being in this Goldilocks zone, this week’s EIA stocks report showed only a nominal 15 bcf build, bringing the total to 1,898 bcf. This is currently 2.1 percent below the five-year average and down a more substantial 13.7 percent from April 2020.
As vaccination rollouts continue and prospects for faster growth loom, usage has been rising and prices are advancing. Key to the seasonal stock build in 2021 will be not only the reopening trade from an economic recovery and resumption of travel but also the pace of export demand of natural gas.