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Economy in Brief

Weekly Gasoline Prices Slide Sideways
by Tom Moeller December 09, 2009

Gasoline prices haven't moved much during the last four weeks. The pump price for regular gasoline of $2.63 per gallon last week was down two cents from the November average but remained in the tight range between $2.47 and $2.69 since June. Nevertheless, gasoline prices remain up from the December low of $1.61. Yesterday, wholesale gasoline prices remained down slightly from last week's average. The figures are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy and can be found in Haver's WEEKLY & DAILY databases.

The price for a barrel of light sweet crude (WTI) oil rose slightly last week to $76.84 but that still was near the lowest level since mid-October. Prices remained up from the December low of $32.37. Yesterday, the spot market price for light sweet crude oil fell to $72.62 per barrel.

Natural gas prices moved higher last week to an average $4.50 per mmbtu (-30.2% y/y), the highest level since late-October. Nevertheless, they remained down by two-thirds from the high reached in early-July of last year of $13.19/mmbtu.

Last week, the demand for gasoline posted a 0.4% increase versus one year ago, down from the 3.9% increase at the beginning of last month. Breaking away from earlier y/y strength, the demand for residual fuel oil fell 22.0% y/y while distillate demand also fell by 9.9% y/y. These demand figures are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Prices 12/07/09 11/30/09 11/23/09 Y/Y 2008 2007 2006
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.63 2.63 2.64 55.0% 3.25 2.80 2.57
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI  ($ per bbl.) 76.84 76.10 78.36 68.9% 100.16 72.25 66.12

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