Natural gas futures struggled to find direction on Friday, trading in a narrow range of gains and losses throughout the session. Favorable near-term weather forecasts and continued light production estimates were countered by export weakness and only modest improvement in supply/demand balances evidenced in the latest government inventory data.

At A Glance:

  • Output near 98 Bcf/d
  • Mixed demand outlook
  • LNG activity lackluster

Coming off a 4.5-cent gain the prior session, the May Nymex gas futures contract on Friday ultimately settled at $1.752/MMBtu, down a half-cent day/day.

Cash prices were mixed as well. NGI’s Spot Gas National Avg. shed 2.0 cents to $1.210.

Natural gas production held around 98 Bcf/d, according to Wood Mackenzie’s Friday estimate. Output hovered near...