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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Mixed
by Sandy Batten  November 24, 2020

• Crude oil price increased.

• Natural gas price tumbled.

• Gasoline price little changed.

The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil increased to an average of $41.62 (-27.0% y/y) in the week ended November 20 from $40.75 per barrel in the previous week. The price was $43.06 yesterday. The average price of Brent crude oil rose to $44.30 per barrel (-29.2% y/y) in the same week from $43.20 per barrel in the previous week. It increased to $45.92 yesterday.

The price of natural gas price tumbled to $2.39/mmbtu (-7.4% y/y) in the week ended November 20 from $2.75/mmbtu in the previous week. After prices soared in October, they have now declined for three consecutive weeks, falling 23% over this period. The price was $2.23 yesterday.

The price of regular gasoline was little changed in the week of November 23, edging down to $2.10 per gallon (-18.5% y/y) and reversing the prior week's one-cent increase to $2.11. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price rose two cents to $2.17 per gallon last week, its highest level since late August.

In the four weeks ended November 13, gasoline demand declined 9.5% y/y. Total petroleum product demand fell 9.1% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries was down 15.4% y/y over the past four weeks. Gasoline inventories increased 3.2% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products were up 4.8% y/y. The days supply of gasoline in inventory has been steady around 27 since mid-August. That's down from the 48.7 recession peak on April 24, 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 11/23/20 11/16/20 11/09/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 2.10 2.11 2.10 -18.5 2.57 2.27 2.47
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 41.62 40.75 37.79 -27.0 56.91 64.95 50.87
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.39 2.75 2.78 -7.4 2.57 3.18 2.99
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