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Economy in Brief

U.S. Petroleum Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  March 3, 2020

Retail gasoline prices fell to $2.42 per gallon (0.0% y/y) in the week ended March 1 versus $2.47 per gallon in the previous week. Prices remained below an early-May peak of $2.90 per gallon. Haver Analytics adjusts prices for seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted gasoline price fell to $2.55 per gallon.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil declined to $48.34 per barrel (-13.9% y/y) in the week ended February 28, its lowest level since the first week of January 2019. Yesterday, the price of WTI declined to $46.75 per barrel. The price of Brent crude oil declined to an average of $53.47 per barrel (-18.4% y/y) last week after rising to $58.49 per barrel in the previous week. The price fell to $51.78 yesterday. Prices peaked at $67.38 at the end of last year.

The average price of natural gas declined to $1.90/mmbtu (-34.6% y/y) last week and reversed the prior week's increase. The price weakened to $1.75/mmbtu yesterday and remained below the peak of $2.81/mmbtu reach early in November.

In the four weeks ending February 21, gasoline demand improved 0.3% y/y, while total petroleum product demand fell 2.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories increased 0.6% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 1.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 1.7% y/y in the past 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 03/01/20 02/24/20 02/17/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.42 2.47 2.43 0.0 2.57 2.27 2.47
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 48.34 53.13 50.83 -13.9 56.91 64.95 50.87
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 1.90 2.00 1.90 -34.6 2.57 3.18 2.99
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