North American natural gas prices saw strong forward momentum this week as winter weather appeared around the corner.

The November New York Mercantile Exchange contract jumped 20.4 cents day/day on Thursday and settled at $3.214/MMBtu.

Mexico imports added to the upward pressure. Pipeline imports over the last 10 days through Thursday averaged 6.87 Bcf/d, according to NGI data. Combined with liquefied natural gas demand in the Gulf Coast of around 14 Bcf/d currently, the export share of the U.S. market is at around 20% of total production.

The maximum flow of 7.21 Bcf into Mexico over the last 10 days was on Wednesday (Oct. 25), the same day that Hurricane Otis slammed into Mexico’s Guerrero state. As of Thursday, Mexico imports had dropped off to 6.99 Bcf. The decline was...