Natural gas for February delivery settled down 20.5 cents, or 6.6%, to $2.889/mmBtu on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement price since Sept. 24, 2012. Stockpiles now stand at 3.22 trillion cubic feet, 7.8% above last year’s level and 2.5% below the five-year average for the week.
Natural gas, known for being a volatile market, closed the year as one of the worst performing commodities. Prices spiked to $6 a million British thermal units in February as a cold winter depleted supplies. But production exceeded expectations this summer, and this winter’s weather has been moderate.