The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a 29 Bcf injection for the week ending Aug. 20, surprising far to the downside and catapulting natural gas futures above $4.00/MMBtu. The September Nymex contract was already sharply higher ahead of the latest EIA report, up 10.0 cents day/day amid current widespread heat and a rebound in export demand. As the inventory stat crossed trading desks, the prompt month jumped another 7.0 cents to $4.065, and by 11 a.m. ET was trading at $4.073.
Ahead of the EIA report, analysts expected a net weekly injection into U.S. stocks in the upper 30s to low 40s Bcf, according to surveys. Twelve injection estimates submitted to Bloomberg as of early Thursday ranged from 35 Bcf to 44 Bcf, with a median of 39 Bcf. A Reuters poll found a similar span of estimates and also landed at a median of 39 Bcf. A Wall Street Journal survey found estimates from 38-44 Bcf and an average of 41 Bcf. NGI estimated a build of 37 Bcf.
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