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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Product Prices Are Mixed
by Tom Moeller  October 20, 2020

• Natural gas prices jump.

• Crude oil prices rise for the second straight week.

• Gasoline prices decline.

Natural gas prices increased 13.6% (-3.6% y/y) to $2.17/mmbtu in the week ended October 16 after a 15.8% rise to $1.91/mmbtu in the previous week. The latest was the highest price since the end of August. The price was $2.30/mmbtu yesterday.

The cost of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 0.5% last week (-24.4% y/y) to average $40.43 per barrel in the week ended October 16, adding to a 3.0% increase to $40.24 in the previous week. Yesterday, the price was $40.83 per barrel. The price of Brent crude oil rose 0.6% (-28.0% y/y) to average $42.68 per barrel versus $42.41 in the previous week. The price was $42.44 per barrel yesterday.

Regular gasoline prices eased 0.8% to $2.15 per gallon (-18.5% y/y) in the week ended October 19. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for usual seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price held steady at $2.12 per gallon. The reformulated RBOB Regular Gasoline Spot Price declined eight cents to $1.23 per gallon (44.6% y/y) in the week ended October 16.

In the four weeks ended October 9, gasoline demand declined 7.5% y/y. Total petroleum product demand fell 12.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries weakened 14.4% y/y in the past four weeks. Gasoline inventories were 0.5% 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 10/19/20 10/12/20 10/05/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.15 2.17 2.17 -18.5 2.57 2.27 2.47
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 40.43 40.24 39.07 -24.4 56.91 64.95 50.87
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.17 1.91 1.65 -3.6 2.57 3.18 2.99
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