Inventories are a significant driver of commodity prices. In this part of our series, we’ll focus on inventory levels for natural gas. Further into the series, we’ll talk about its impact on natural gas prices and, ultimately, the effect on coal prices.
The EIA (Energy Information Administration) releases the estimate volume for natural gas stored in underground facilities on a weekly basis.
The EIA’s natural gas inventory figure for the week ended December 8 is 3,626 Bcf (billion cubic feet). This latest stockpile estimate is 69 Bcf lower than the 3,695 Bcf reported for the week ended December 1, which means a fall of nearly 2% on a week-over-week basis.
On a YoY (year-over-year) basis, the natural gas inventory also dropped. The reading is around 5.3% below the inventory level of 3,827 Bcf that was reported in 2016. Last week’s natural gas stockpile is within the historical five-year range, just 27 Bcf below the five-year average of 3,653.