U.S. natural gas futures fell about 2% to a more than two-week low on April 15, weighed down by lower demand forecasts for this week than previously expected due primarily to a drop in feedgas to the Freeport LNG export plant in Texas.

Front-month gas futures for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange were 3.4 cents lower, or 1.9%, to $1.74/MMBtu by 10:16 a.m. ET.

"As long as it's (Freeport LNG) offline, the market is going to stay little sluggish,... there's not enough weather demand too, to overcompensate for the that loss of demand on the LNG export," said Thomas Saal, senior vice president for energy at StoneX Financia.

Gas flows to the seven big U.S. LNG export plants slid to an average of 12.3 Bcf/d so far in April, down from 13.1 Bcf/d in March. That compares with a monthly record of 14.7 Bcf/d in December.

The amount of gas flowing to Freeport was at 0.1 Bcf/d on April 15, down from a recent high of 1.1 Bcf/d on April 9 and an average of 0.4 Bcf/d over the prior seven days.

Financial firm LSEG said gas output in the Lower 48 U.S. states has fallen to an average of 97.6 Bcf/d so far in April, down from 100.8 Bcf/d in March. That compares with a monthly record of 105.6 Bcf/d in December 2023.

LSEG forecast gas demand in the Lower 48, including exports, would fall from 99.3 Bcf/d last week to 92.4 Bcf/d this week. Those forecasts were lower than LSEG's outlook on Friday.

"With LNG demand still constrained, reduced output hasn’t been sufficient to prop this market much, especially with last week's EIA storage injection coming in appreciably above virtually all industry forecasts," energy advisory Ritterbusch and Associates said in a note.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration on April 11 said utilities injected 24 Bcf of gas to the storage during the week ended April 5.

The European benchmark wholesale gas price were mixed as record high gas storage levels in Europe helped offset geopolitical concerns and forecasts for cooler temperatures later this week.