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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Product Prices Continue to Slide
by Tom Moeller  March 31, 2020

Retail gasoline prices declined to $2.00 per gallon (-25.5% y/y) in the week ended March 30 from $2.12 per gallon in the previous week. Prices remained below their May 2019 peak of $2.90 per gallon. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for regular seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price fell to $1.99 per gallon from $2.24.

The per barrel price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil declined to $20.09 yesterday from an average $21.82 last week (63.3% y/y). It was the lowest price since March 2002. The price of Brent crude oil weakened to $26.27 per barrel yesterday from an average of $26.67 last week. The price has fallen from a $67.38 high averaged in the last week of December.

The average price of natural gas fell to $1.73/mmbtu (-36.2% y/y) last week from $1.79. The price weakened to $1.65/mmbtu yesterday and remained below the peak of $2.81/mmbtu early in November.

In the four weeks ending March 20, gasoline demand increased 1.2% y/y, while total petroleum product demand improved 1.3% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose 0.3% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 1.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries declined 1.5% 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 03/30/20 03/23/20 03/16/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.00 2.12 2.25 -25.5 2.57 2.27 2.47
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 21.82 24.20 32.34 -63.3 56.91 64.95 50.87
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 1.73 1.79 1.87 -36.2 2.57 3.18 2.99
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