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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Oil Prices Increase
by Tom Moeller  June 22, 2020

• Gasoline prices strengthen as drivers take to the road.

• Crude oil prices continue rising as demand improves worldwide.

• Natural gas prices weaken further.

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose to $2.13 per gallon (-19.8% y/y) in the week ended June 22 from $2.10 per gallon in the previous week. The increase pulled prices to the highest level since late-March. The spot market price rose to $1.10 per gallon last week. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for regular seasonal variation. Seasonally-adjusted prices also were strong and rose to $2.06 per gallon from $2.00, the highest level in three months.

The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to an average $38.38 per barrel (-29.9% y/y) in the week ended June 19 from $37.87 in the prior week. The gain occurred despite the likelihood that the coronavirus will limit demand. Yesterday, the price increased to $40.46 per barrel. The price of Brent crude oil rose to $40.95 per barrel (-36.1% y/y) from $39.52, the highest level since the first week of March. Yesterday, the price was $43.06 per barrel.

The average price of natural gas fell sharply to $1.52/mmbtu (-36.4% y/y) in the week ended June 19. The price remained below the $4.67/mmbtu peak in late-November 2018. On Friday, the price fell further to $1.49/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ending June 12, gasoline demand fell 20.9% y/y, while total petroleum product demand weakened 20.4% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries declined 21.5% y/y in the past four weeks. Gasoline inventories rose 10.2% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 7.2% y/y.

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 06/22/20 06/15/20 06/08/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.13 2.10 2.04 -19.8 2.57 2.27 2.47
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 38.38 37.87 37.31 -29.9 56.91 64.95 50.87
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 1.52 1.70 1.70 -36.4 2.57 3.18 2.99
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