NEW YORK: US natural gas futures were little changed on Tuesday as rising demand for the fuel from power generators to keep air conditioners humming offset a drop in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe and Asia, where prices recently fell to record lows due to coronavirus demand destruction.

Front-month gas futures rose 0.3 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $1.777 per million British thermal units.

Data provider Refinitiv said average gas output in the US Lower 48 states fell to 88.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far in June, down from a one-year low of 89.3 bcfd in May and an all-time monthly high of 95.4 bcfd in November.

With the coming of warmer summer weather, Refinitiv projected demand, including exports, would rise from 80.1 bcfd this week to 82.2 bcfd next week.

LNG buyers have canceled dozens of US cargoes since April, when US gas at the Henry Hub benchmark in Louisiana started trading higher than major European hubs for the first time in a decade.

Analysts said those cancellations will likely increase in coming months because gas is expected to remain more expensive in the United States than in Europe through September.

Copyright Reuters, 2020