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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Are Mixed
by Tom Moeller  November 17, 2020

• Crude oil prices increase.

• Natural gas prices edge lower.

• Gasoline prices are little changed.

The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil increased to an average of $40.79 per barrel (-28.4% y/y) in the week ended November 13 and rose to $41.34 yesterday. Brent crude oil prices rose to an average $43.20 per barrel (-30.8% y/y) and improved to $43.86 yesterday.

Natural gas prices fell to $2.75/mmbtu (+0.9% y/y) in the week ended November 13 from $2.78 in the prior week. Prices had been trending higher since June as signs of economic recovery developed along with seasonal influences. Prices eased to $2.62 yesterday.

Regular gasoline prices edged up to $2.11 per gallon (-18.6% y/y) in the week ended November 16 and reversed the prior week's easing to $2.10. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for usual seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price rose five cents to $2.15 per gallon last week.

In the four weeks ended November 6, gasoline demand declined 10.3% y/y. Total petroleum product demand fell 10.7% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries was down 15.9% y/y in the past four weeks. Gasoline inventories increased 2.9% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products moved 5.0% higher y/y. The days supply of gasoline in inventory has been steady around 27 since August. That's down from 43 at the recession peak in April, but slightly above the long-term average.

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 11/16/20 11/09/20 11/02/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 2.11 2.10 2.11 -18.6 2.57 2.27 2.47
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 40.79 37.79 37.39 -28.4 56.91 64.95 50.87
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.75 2.78 3.09 0.9 2.57 3.18 2.99
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