U.S. utilities likely added a lower-than-usual 72 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas to storage last week, on strong exports to Mexico and higher cooling demand, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.
That compares with a build of 86 bcf during the same week a year ago and a five-year (2016-2020) average injection of 87 bcf.
In the week to June 4, utilities added 98 bcf of gas into storage.
If analysts are on target, the injection during the week ended June 11 would take stockpiles up to 2.483 trillion cubic feet (tcf), 2.7% below the five-year average and 13.8% below the same week a year ago.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release its weekly storage report at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Thursday.
U.S. pipeline exports to Mexico averaged 6.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far in June, putting them on track to top May's 6.2-bcfd record.
The weather was warmer than usual last week with 77 cooling degree days (CDDs) compared with a 30-year average of 57 CDDs for the period.
CDDs, which are used to estimate demand to cool homes and businesses, measure the number of degrees a day's average temperature is above 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius).
Reuters polled 18 analysts, whose estimates ranged from a build of 64 bcf to 76 bcf, with a median injection of 73 bcf.
Early estimates for the week ending June 18 ranged from an addition of 54 bcf to 80 bcf, with a mean increase of 68 bcf.
That compares with an injection of 115 bcf during the same week last year and a five-year average build of 83 bcf.
(Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Scott DiSavino and Nick Zieminski) ((BharatGovind.Gautam@thomsonreuters.com; +91-80-6182-3021/ 3590 (If within U.S. call 651-848-5832 );))