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UPDATE 1-U.S. natgas futures slip from 8-month high as demand slowly eases

 (Adds latest prices)
    Aug 17 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures on Monday slipped from an eight-month high in the
previous session as output slowly increases and on forecasts for milder weather and lower air
conditioning demand than previously expected.
    That price decline came despite a steady increase in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.
    Front-month gas futures fell 1.7 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $2.339 per million British
thermal units. On Friday, the contract closed at its highest since Dec. 5.
    Electricity prices in the U.S. West, meanwhile, soared to record highs as California consumers
prepared for more rotating outages after the grid operator ordered utilities to shut power over the
weekend to reduce strain on the system during a brutal heat wave.
    Gas speculators last week boosted their net long positions on the New York Mercantile and
Intercontinental Exchanges to their highest since November 2018 on expectations energy demand will rise
as the economy rebounds when state governments lift more coronavirus-linked lockdowns.
    Although U.S. and European gas contracts mostly trade on their own fundamentals, a 58% jump in
prices at the European Title Transfer Facility (TTF) benchmark in the Netherlands so far in
August helped pull U.S. gas up about 30% this month. That made it profitable for more U.S. LNG cargoes
to go to Europe.
    U.S. LNG exports were on track to rise in August for the first time in six months. Pipeline gas
flowing to the plants climbed to 4.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far this month from a 21-month
low of 3.3 bcfd in July.
    With temperatures expected to moderate now that the hottest days of summer are in the past,
Refinitiv projected U.S. demand, including exports, will decline from an average of 90.4 bcfd this week
to 88.1 bcfd next week.
                       
                                       Week ended      Week ended    Year ago   Five-year   
                                          Aug 14         Aug 7        Aug 14     average    
                                         (Actual)       (Actual)                  Aug 14    
 U.S. natgas storage (bcf):                +43            +58          +56         +44 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                              5              2            2           6            6
 U.S. GFS CDDs                             188            206          195         181          174
 U.S. GFS TDDs                             193            208          197         187          180
                                                                                            
 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              89.0           89.1         88.6        92.9         79.1
 U.S. Imports from Canada                  6.9            6.7          6.8         8.3          8.0
 U.S. LNG Imports                          0.0            0.0          0.0         0.0          0.2
 Total U.S. Supply                         95.9           95.7         95.6       101.2         87.3
 
 U.S. Demand (bcfd)
 U.S. Exports to Canada                    1.9            2.0          2.0         3.0          2.2
 U.S. Exports to Mexico                    5.6            5.7          5.7         5.5          4.4
 U.S. LNG Exports                          4.4            4.8          4.7         5.1          2.0
 U.S. Commercial                           4.4            4.5          4.5         4.5          4.5
 U.S. Residential                          3.5            3.5          3.6         3.6          3.3
 U.S. Power Plant                          41.7           41.7         39.5        42.8         36.6
 U.S. Industrial                           21.5           21.6         21.6        21.5         20.6
 U.S. Plant Fuel                           4.4            4.4          4.4         4.4          4.3
 U.S. Pipe Distribution                    2.1            2.1          2.0         2.1          2.0
 U.S. Vehicle Fuel                         0.1            0.1          0.1         0.1          0.1
 Total U.S. Consumption                    77.8           78.0         75.7        79.0         71.4
 Total U.S. Demand                         89.7           90.4         88.1        92.6         80.0 SNL U.S. Natural Gas Next-Day Prices ($ per mmBtu)                                         
 Hub                                   Current Day     Prior Day                            
 Henry Hub NG-W-HH-SNL                   2.23           2.19                              
 Transco Z6 New York NG-CG-NY-SNL        1.29           1.51                              
 PG&E Citygate NG-CG-PGE-SNL             3.32           2.98                              
 Dominion South NG-PCN-APP-SNL           1.06           1.04                              
 Chicago Citygate NG-CG-CH-SNL           2.11           2.05                              
 Algonquin Citygate NG-CG-BS-SNL         1.22           1.47                              
 SoCal Citygate NG-SCL-CGT-SNL           6.35           4.26                              
 Waha Hub NG-WAH-WTX-SNL                 1.88           1.80 SNL U.S. Power Next-Day Prices ($ per megawatt-hour)                                       
 Hub                                   Current Day     Prior Day                            
 New England EL-PK-NPMS-SNL             20.75          33.50                              
 PJM West EL-PK-PJMW-SNL                27.50          29.75                              
 Ercot North EL-PK-ERTN-SNL             120.00         336.50                             
 Mid C EL-PK-MIDC-SNL                   100.00         42.30                              
 Palo Verde EL-PK-PLVD-SNL              350.50         217.50                             
 SP-15 EL-PK-SP15-SNL                   270.75         218.50                             
 
 (Reporting by Scott DiSavino
Editing by Nick Zieminski and Marguerita Choy)
  
 
 
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