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Economy in Brief

U.S. Crude Oil & Natural Gas Prices Rise
by Tom Moeller  October 14, 2020

• Crude oil prices recover.

• Natural gas prices jump.

• Gasoline prices hold steady.

The cost of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 3.1% last week (-24.4% y/y) to average $40.28 per barrel in the week ended October 9, rebounding after a decline to $39.07 in the previous week. Yesterday, the price was $40.20  per barrel. The price of Brent crude oil rose 3.0% (-28.0% y/y) to average $42.41 per barrel versus $41.19 in the previous week. The price was $41.48 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices recovered 10.3% (-19.5% y/y) to $1.82/mmbtu in the week ended October 9 after weakening to $1.65/mmbtu in the previous week. The latest was the highest price in three weeks. Prices strengthened to $2.14/mmbtu yesterday.

Regular gasoline prices were unchanged at $2.17 per gallon (-17.6% y/y) in the week ended October 12, staying near a level where they have been since late-June. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for usual seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price was steady at $2.12 per gallon. The reformulated RBOB Regular Gasoline Spot Price rose three cents to $1.32 per gallon in the week ended October 9.

In the four weeks ended October 2, gasoline demand declined 6.7% y/y. Total petroleum product demand fell 14.8% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries weakened 16.2% y/y in the past four weeks. Gasoline inventories were 0.9% below a year ago, while inventories of all petroleum products rose 6.9% 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 10/12/20 10/05/20 09/28/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.17 2.17 2.17 -17.6 2.57 2.27 2.47
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 40.28 39.07 39.82 -24.4 56.91 64.95 50.87
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 1.82 1.65 1.68 -19.5 2.57 3.18 2.99
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