Investing.com - Natural gas futures were higher on Wednesday, as freezing temperatures and heavy snow was expected across the southern part of U.S. in the coming days.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in March rose to a session high of USD5.027 per million British thermal units, the most since February 7.
Natural gas prices last traded at USD4.857 during U.S. morning trade, up 0.7%.
The March contract surged 5.35% on Tuesday to settle at USD4.824 per million British thermal units.
Natural gas futures were likely to find support at USD4.739 per million British thermal units, the low from February 7 and resistance at USD5.396, the high from February 6.
The U.S. National Weather Service said that the southern part of the U.S. may get 1 to 3 inches (2.5-7.5 centimeters) of snow and sleet over the next three days.
Bullish speculators are betting that the winter storm will increase demand for the heating fuel.
The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption. Approximately 52% of U.S. households use natural gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.
Prices were also supported amid speculation weekly supply data due on Thursday will show a larger-than-expected drop in U.S. natural gas inventories.
Early withdrawal estimates for this week’s storage data range from 225 billion cubic feet to 240 billion cubic feet. The five-year average change for the week is a decline of 162 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage fell by 262 billion cubic feet last week to 1.923 trillion cubic feet, approximately 22% below the five-year average for this time of year and nearly 29% below last year’s unusually high level.
Natural-gas inventories have fallen sharply since November as frigid winter temperatures in the U.S. led households to burn a higher than normal amount of the fuel in furnaces to heat their homes.
Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in March rose 0.95% to trade at USD100.91 a barrel, while heating oil for March delivery added 0.35% to trade at USD3.038 per gallon.