The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported another larger-than-expected 82 Bcf injection into storage, confirming looser balances as a result of an explosion at the Freeport liquefied natural gas export terminal.

Nymex futures, down about a nickel early in Thursday’s session, quickly plunged after the latest EIA data was published. The August contract was trading near $6.450/MMBtu in the minutes leading up to the report, then slid to $6.250 as the EIA print crossed trading desks. The prompt month got punched around even further and fell as low as $5.967 in the half hour after the EIA report. By 11 a.m. ET, though, August futures were back at $6.106, off 39.2 cents from Wednesday’s close.

Bespoke Weather Services said the latest data seemingly confirms that more gas is getting into storage than its data and those by others is detecting. The firm noted that prompt-month prices were falling sharply and swifty after the EIA report, “and we could fall further if, in fact, the market perceives the bull case as being over.

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“We remain neutral just given the hotter weather keeping demand high, and salts still rather low, as there have just been a lot of land mines in this market lately,” Bespoke said. “We feel letting the dust settle is quite warranted.”

The 82 Bcf injection surpassed the highest of expectations ahead of the EIA report by 2 Bcf. Major surveys showed a range of estimates from 68 Bcf to 80 Bcf. The median of 12 estimates submitted to Bloomberg as of early Thursday was a 75 Bcf build, while a Reuters poll produced a median increase of 74 Bcf. A Wall Street Journal poll averaged a 75 Bcf injection.

The EIA’s latest figure also bested both last year’s and the five-year average increase of 73 Bcf.

Broken down by region, the East led with a 31 Bcf increase in inventories, while the Midwest added 29 Bcf to stocks, EIA said. The South Central region added a net 11 Bcf into storage, which included a 16 Bcf injection into nonsalt facilities and a 6 Bcf withdrawal from salts. Mountain inventories rose by 6 Bcf, and the Pacific increased by 4 Bcf.

Several market observers on Enelyst said the East and Midwest were the biggest misses, though nonsalt facilities in the South Central region also missed the mark. They chalked up the larger-than-expected builds to production not being fully captured on intrastate pipelines, and more gas flowing from the South to the Midwest in response to the heat wave that hit the region last week.

“South Texas cash prices last week were pretty dang flat to July and forwards. There might have been a nickel in it, but not much more. We did not do much injecting at all,” said one Enelyst participant.

Total working gas in storage as of June 24 was 2,251 Bcf, which is 296 Bcf below the year-earlier level and 322 Bcf below the five-year average, according to EIA.