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Economy in Brief

Energy Prices Continue to Climb
by Sandy Batten  January 12, 2021

• Gasoline prices rise to highest since early March 2020.

• Crude oil prices increase to highest since late February 2020.

• Natural gas prices jump up to eight-week high.

The price of regular gasoline rose to $2.32 per gallon (-9.8% y/y) in the week ended January 11 from $2.25 per gallon in the previous week. It was the highest price since early March 2020. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price rose to $2.50 per gallon last week, also its highest level since early March, from $2.42 the previous week.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices rose to an average of $50.25 per barrel (-17.4% y/y) in the week ended January 8, its highest reading since late February 2020, from $48.07 in the previous week. The price rose further to $52.25 yesterday. The average price of Brent crude oil increased to $53.14 (-20.2% y/y) last week from $51.34 per barrel in the previous week. The price was $55.51 yesterday.

The price of natural gas jumped to $2.74/mmbtu (+31.1% y/y) in the week ended January 8 from $2.38/mmbtu in the previous week. Prices remained elevated versus $1.52/mmbtu in the third week of June. The price slipped to $2.71/mmbtu yesterday.

In the four weeks ended January 1, gasoline demand declined 11.9% y/y. Total petroleum product demand fell 9.3% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 16.0% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 4.2% y/y while inventories of all petroleum products rose 3.7% y/y. The supply of gasoline in inventory in the week ended January 1 was 30.6 days, up from a recent low of 26.4 days in mid-October.

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 are in USENERGY.

Weekly Energy Prices 01/11/21 01/04/21 12/28/20 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 2.32 2.25 2.24 -9.8 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 50.25 48.07 47.79 -17.4 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.74 2.38 2.72 31.1 2.03 2.57 3.18
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