Weekly US natural gas consumption
PointLogic estimates that US natural gas consumption increased ~5.5% to 80.8 Bcf (billion cubic feet) per day on March 8–14, 2018. Consumption also increased ~5.2% or by 8 Bcf per day from a year ago. Higher natural gas consumption from the residential, commercial, power, and industrial sectors supported the overall increase in consumption during this period.
Reuters estimates that US natural gas consumption could drop next week. The drop in consumption could be bearish for natural gas prices.
US natural gas prices have gained ~63.4% since March 3, 2016, partially due to improving demand and exports. The Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE) and the Guggenheim S&P Equal Weight Energy ETF (RYE) have risen ~16.1% and ~19.7%, respectively, since March 3, 2016. VDE follows the performance of an index of energy stocks. RYE tracks the performance of the S&P 500 Equal Weight Energy Index.
US natural gas consumption estimates
US natural gas consumption averaged 75.1 Bcf per day in 2016 and 74.2 Bcf per day in 2017. According to the EIA, US natural gas consumption could average ~78.19 Bcf per day in 2018 and ~79.36 Bcf per day in 2019. Average annual consumption could reach a new record this year and next year.
US natural gas production could surpass consumption this year and next year, which could pressure gas prices. However, a rise in exports could limit the impact of excess supply.
Next, we’ll discuss US natural gas price forecasts.