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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Steady While Crude Oil Costs Ease
by Tom Moeller  October 6, 2020

• Gasoline prices continue sideways trend.

• Crude oil prices decline.

• Natural gas prices ease w/w; firm yesterday.

Regular gasoline prices were unchanged at $2.17 per gallon (-17.9% y/y) in the week ended October 5, having hovered around that level since late-June. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for usual seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price held at $2.12 per gallon versus the previous week. The reformulated RBOB Regular Gasoline Spot Price rose three cents to $1.29 per gallon in the week ended October 2.

The cost of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 1.8% last week (-26.4% y/y) to average $39.10 per barrel in the week ended October 2 from $39.82 in the previous week. Yesterday, the price was $39.22 per barrel. The price of Brent crude oil dipped 1.2% w/w (-29.4% y/y) to average $41.19 per barrel versus $41.70 in the previous week. The price was $41.41 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices also slipped 1.8% w/w (-29.2% y/y) to $1.65/mmbtu in the week ended October 2 from $1.68/mmbtu in the previous week. The weekly average was at its lowest level since late-June, Yesterday, the price rebounded to $1.92/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended September 25, gasoline demand declined 8.9% y/y. Total petroleum product demand fell 14.4% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries was down 20.1% y/y in the past four weeks. Gasoline inventories moved 0.8% below a year ago, while inventories of all petroleum products rose 6.6% 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 10/05/20 09/28/20 09/21/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.17 2.17 2.17 -17.9 2.57 2.27 2.47
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 39.10 39.82 39.55 -26.4 56.91 64.95 50.87
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 1.65 1.68 1.93 -29.2 2.57 3.18 2.99
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