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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Nat Gas Prices Fall While Crude Oil Prices Were Mixed
by Sandy Batten  December 10, 2019

In the week ended December 9, retail gasoline prices edged down to $2.56 per gallon (+5.8% y/y) from $2.58 per gallon the previous week. Typically, gasoline prices weaken at this time of year. Haver Analytics adjusts these price figures for seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price was unchanged at $2.69 per gallon. This was the highest price since the week ended May 20.

In the week ended December 6, West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices rose to an average of $57.64 (9.4% y/y) per barrel, with the daily price rising during the week, from an average of $57.33 the previous week. This was the fifth consecutive weekly increase. Yesterday, the price was $59.02. In contrast, Brent crude oil prices declined to an average of $62.12 (+1.1% y/y) per barrel, the first weekly decline in nine weeks, from an average of $63.20 the previous week. However, the daily price rose during the most recent week to stand at $64.16 yesterday.

The weekly average price of natural gas prices declined for the fourth consecutive week to $2.37/mmbtu (-47.2% y/y) in the week ended December 6 from an average of $2.49/mmbtu the previous week. Yesterday, the price fell to further to $2.17/mmbtu yesterday.

In the four-weeks ending November 29, gasoline demand increased 0.8% y/y. Total petroleum product demand also rose, up 0.3% y/y. Gasoline inventories gained 1.4% y/y while inventories of all petroleum products edged up 0.2% 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. The price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY and DAILY databases. Greater detail on prices, as well as the demand, production and inventory data, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 12/09/19 12/02/19 11/25/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.56 2.58 2.58 5.8 2.27 2.47 2.31
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 57.64 57.33 57.02 9.4 64.95 50.87 43.22
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.37 2.49 2.58 -47.2 3.18 2.99 2.51
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