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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Are Mixed; Natural Gas Prices Ease
by Tom Moeller  December 3, 2019

Retail gasoline prices held steady last week at $2.58 per gallon (+5.1% y/y). Typically, gasoline prices weaken this time of year. After applying the seasonal factor constructed by Haver Analytics, gasoline prices increased to $2.69 per gallon. It was the highest level since May.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices improved to an average $57.33 (12.2% y/y) per barrel last week. Yesterday, prices reversed this movement and weakened to $55.96. Brent crude oil prices improved to $63.20 (5.7% y/y) per barrel last week and were $60.97 yesterday.

Natural gas prices declined to $2.45/mmbtu last week (-44.7% y/y), the lowest price since the end of last month. The price fell to $2.29 yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending November 22, gasoline demand increased 0.5% y/y. Total petroleum product demand also rose 0.5% y/y. Gasoline inventories improved 0.6% y/y while inventories of all petroleum products were unchanged y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 4.2% y/y in the last four weeks.

These data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Climate Data Center. The price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY and DAILY databases. Weekly U.S. National (Contiguous 48 States) temperature can be found in WEEKLY. Greater detail on prices, as well as the demand, production and inventory data, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 12/02/19 11/25/19 11/18/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.58 2.58 2.59 5.1 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 57.33 57.02 56.94 12.2 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.45 2.58 2.73 -44.7 3.18 2.99 2.51
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