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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Rise
by Tom Moeller June 29, 2010

The pump price for regular gasoline of $2.76 per gallon last week was its highest in five weeks. Also, prices were up more than three-quarters since the December 2008 low. Yesterday, the spot market price for a gallon of regular gasoline held stable with last week at $2.05 but it still was the highest level since early-May. The figures are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy and can be found in Haver's WEEKLY & DAILY databases.

The average price for a barrel of light sweet crude (WTI) continued higher last week to $77.10. Nevertheless the price remained down from the high of $84.23 averaged during April. Yesterday crude prices rose further to $78.25 per barrel, up from the May 24th low of $66.88.

U.S. natural gas prices slipped last week to an average $4.93 per mmbtu (27.5% y/y), the highest level since early-March. Nevertheless, prices remained down from a high of $6.50 early in January.

Demand for gasoline improved a modest 0.8% last week versus one year ago. The demand for residual fuel oil again fell a sharp 19.0% versus last year while distillate demand continued to surge by 12.8% y/y. That's improved from a 12.3% decline during February. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products have been rising since the Winter but slipped during the last twelve months.

The energy price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database while the daily figures are in DAILY. The gasoline demand figures are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Prices 06/28/10 06/21/10 06/14/10 y/y 2009 2008 2007
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.76 2.74 2.70 4.4% 2.35 3.25 2.80
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI  ($ per bbl.) 77.11 76.74 73.41 12.1% 61.39 100.16 72.25
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 4.93 5.10 4.75 27.5% 3.95 8.88 6.97
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