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Wed Dec 14, 2011, 12:43 PM

U.S. Winter to Miss Biting Cold of Past Two Seasons [View all]

The biting cold of the past two winters in the U.S. may be delayed until January, if it comes at all, easing demand for heating fuels during their peak season.

While frigid weather may arrive in much of the U.S. this month, above-normal temperatures will follow, said Jim Rouiller, senior energy meteorologist at Planalytics Inc. in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.

Heating oil prices jumped to a two-year high last December and gas rose to the highest level in four months as below-normal temperatures and snow boosted demand for the fuels. Natural gas futures today dropped to a 27-month low on abundant supplies and forecasts for milder weather this winter.

“The very mild conditions which have delayed the start of the traditional winter heating season have hit gas prices really hard,” said Teri Viswanath, director of commodity strategies at BNP Paribas SA in Houston, said by phone on Dec. 6. “We have a very weak demand environment.”



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