Natural gas dips as market prices in bullish stockpile report

Natural gas prices fell on Monday as investors locked in gains from last week's bullish U.S. inventory report sold the commodity for profits.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in June traded at $4.729 per million British thermal units during U.S. trading, down 0.54%. The commodity hit session high of $4.799 and a low of $4.725.

The June contract settled up 4.51% on Thursday to end at $4.754 per million British thermal units. Markets were closed on Friday due to holiday

Natural gas futures were likely to find support at $4.487 per million British thermal units, Thursday's low, and resistance at $5.207, the high from Feb. 24.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report last Thursday that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ending April 11 rose by 24 billion cubic feet after an increase of 4 billion cubic feet the previous week.

Analysts had expected an increase of 34 billion cubic feet last week, the lower-than-expected build sparked a rally in the market, with prices hitting 7-week highs until profit taking wiped out the buying spree.

Severely cold weather this past winter saw natural gas stockpiles fall to 11-year lows, sparking concerns that producers may not be able to refill inventories before the next heating season.

Producers typically replenish inventories between April and October, when demand is lower.

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.

Spring and fall see the weakest demand for natural gas in the U.S, as the absence of extreme temperatures curbs demand for heating and air conditioning.

Elsewhere on the NYMEX, light sweet crude oil futures for delivery in June were down 0.09% and trading at $103.28 a barrel, while heating oil for May delivery were up 0.14% at $3.0124 per gallon.