Natural gas prices fell on Friday, extending losses to 14 out of the last 15 trading sessions as milder weather in the US reduced pressure on inventories.
The latest fall pushed Nymex Henry Hub natural gas futures down 1.01% to $2.554 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in early trade on Friday.
Since its 14-month high of $3.631/MMBtu on 29 January, the price of natural gas futures has fallen 29.77%, surpassing what is usually termed as a correction - a fall of 10% from its most recent peak - into bear market territory - a fall of more than 20%.
"Increasing temperatures and returning supply pushed Nymex Henry Hub back down towards $2.50/MMBtu, and we expect it to remain under pressure as the shoulder demand season approaches," said Warren Patterson at ING, indicating the season between peak and low demand.
The drop left the US natural gas price near its year low on Friday as institutional investors continued to liquidate long positions - speculating on prices moving higher.
Aggregate open interest in Nymex Henry Hub fell from 1.42 million lots at the end of January to 1.37 million lots at the end of last week, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
With the latest data published later on Friday, natural gas prices remained under pressure.
Patterson added: "Given the pressure on prices, and the decline in open interest, Friday’s data is likely to show a further decline in the speculative net long position."