Traders looked past a bearish storage print by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday and focused instead on persistently strong demand and relatively light production, a combination favorable for continued strength in natural gas prices. The prompt month has climbed five straight days and on Thursday topped the $4.00/MMBtu threshold for the first time since 2018.

At A Glance:

  • EIA posts big inventory increase
  • Strong cooling demand on way
  • Production remains off from highs

The August Nymex contract gained 4.4 cents day/day and settled at $4.003/MMBtu. September advanced 4.4 cents to $3.982.

Mizuho Securities USA LLC’s Robert Yawger, director of energy futures, said gas prices are soaring amid a “heat wave cooking much of the U.S.” He noted that the...