Natural gas prices surged early on Tuesday amid expectations for intensifying U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export demand and increased anticipation of subfreezing air descending from Canada and covering large parts of the Lower 48 in late January.

Natural Gas Futures

After spiking about 15 cents in morning trading, the February Nymex gas futures contract gave back much of the gains in the afternoon following midday weather runs that showed lighter intensity in the coming cold. When the dust cleared, however, the prompt month was up six-tenths of a cent day/day and settled at $2.753. March rose four-tenths of a cent to $2.707.

NGI’s Spot Gas National Avg. advanced 18.0 cents to $2.925.

While the American weather model was colder than the European, both early Tuesday called for a heavy dose...