UPDATE 1-U.S. natgas futures ease as rising output offsets higher demand

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments to close)
    Sept 30 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures eased on Wednesday as an increase in output in recent
days offset raised forecasts for demand over the next two weeks.
    Front-month gas futures fell 3.4 cents, or 1.3%, to settle at $2.527 per million British
thermal units (mmBtu).
    That puts the contract down about 4% in September after rising by a 10-year monthly high of 46% in
August. For the quarter, the contract gained about 44%, the most in a quarter in four years.
    The premium of futures for December over November NGX20-Z20, meanwhile, hit a record high of 61
cents per mmBtu on Wednesday.
    Data provider Refinitiv said output in the Lower 48 U.S. states rose to a two-week high of 87.2
billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Tuesday from a four-month low of 84.4 bcfd last week.
    For the month, however, output was on track to decline for a second time in a row in September to a
23-month low of 86.7 bcfd as storms in the Gulf of Mexico, pipeline maintenance and low prices earlier
in the year due to coronavirus demand destruction caused energy firms to shut wells and cut back on new
    With cooler weather coming, Refinitiv projected demand, including exports, would rise from 83.7
bcfd this week to 85.3 bcfd next week due to higher heating usage and liquefied natural gas (LNG)
exports. That was higher than Refinitiv's forecast on Tuesday.
    The amount of gas flowing to LNG export plants averaged 5.7 bcfd in September. That was the most in
a month since May and was up for a second month in a row for the first time since hitting a record 8.7
bcfd in February as rising global gas prices prompted buyers to reverse some cargo cancellations.

                                       Week ended     Week ended    Year ago   Five-year   
                                         Sep 25        Sep 18        Sep 25     average    
                                       (Forecast)      (Actual)                  Sep 25    
 U.S. natgas storage (bcf):                +79           +66          +109        +78 Refinitiv Heating (HDD), Cooling (CDD) and Total (TDD) Degree Days                        
 Two-Week Total Forecast               Current Day    Prior Day    Prior Year   10-Year    30-Year Norm
 U.S. GFS HDDs                             78             80           75          73           98
 U.S. GFS CDDs                             67             70           99          72           54
 U.S. GFS TDDs                             145           150          174         145          152
 Refinitiv U.S. Weekly GFS Supply and Demand Forecasts                                     
                                       Prior Week    Current Week  Next Week   This Week    Five-Year
                                                                               Last Year   Average For
 U.S. Supply (bcfd)
 U.S. Lower 48 Dry Production             85.6           86.1         85.9        94.4         79.7
 U.S. Imports from Canada                  5.5           5.9          6.1         7.6          8.1
 U.S. LNG Imports                          0.0           0.0          0.0         0.0          0.1
 Total U.S. Supply                        91.1           92.0         92.1       102.0         87.7
 U.S. Demand (bcfd)
 U.S. Exports to Canada                    2.0           2.2          2.1         2.2          2.3
 U.S. Exports to Mexico                    6.0           6.0          6.0         5.9          4.5
 U.S. LNG Exports                          5.7           6.3          7.5         6.3          2.1
 U.S. Commercial                           5.2           5.3          6.0         5.3          4.7
 U.S. Residential                          4.7           4.9          6.2         4.9          3.7
 U.S. Power Plant                         30.9           31.0         29.0        34.3         32.0
 U.S. Industrial                          21.6           21.8         22.1        21.4         20.6
 U.S. Plant Fuel                           4.2           4.3          4.2         4.2          4.4
 U.S. Pipe Distribution                    1.8           1.8          1.9         1.8          1.9
 U.S. Vehicle Fuel                         0.1           0.1          0.1         0.1          0.1
 Total U.S. Consumption                   68.6           69.2         69.6        72.0         67.4
 Total U.S. Demand  ...

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