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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Gasoline Prices Rose Further; Oil and Nat Gas Edged Down
by Sandy Batten  March 23, 2021

• Gasoline prices continued their rise, posting highest price since April 2019.

• Crude oil prices edged down for second week in past three.

• Natural gas prices fell for fourth consecutive week.

The price of regular gasoline increased 0.4% w/w to $2.87 per gallon (35.1% y/y) in the week ended March 22, its highest level since April 2019, from $2.85 per gallon in the previous week. The price has increased from a low of $2.11 per gallon in November of last year. This was the seventeenth consecutive weekly rise. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price slipped to $2.90 per gallon last week from $2.94 per gallon in the previous week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell last week to an average of $63.24 per barrel in the week ended March 19 from an average of $65.02 per barrel in the previous week. WTI prices have soared 161% from a year ago. The price was $61.55 per barrel yesterday. The average price of Brent crude oil declined to $66.40 per barrel (+136.4% y/y) last week from $68.43 per barrel in the previous week. The price was $64.34 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas fell for the fourth consecutive week to $2.53/mmbtu (+41.3% y/y) in the week ended March 19 from $2.65/mmbtu in the previous week. Yesterday, the price rose to $2.55/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended March 12, gasoline demand fell 13.0% y/y and demand for all petroleum products declined 11.1% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 24.3% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 3.6% y/y while crude oil inventories rose 1.7% y/y. The supply of gasoline in inventory in the week ended March 12 was 28.5 days, the lowest since the end of November.

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 03/22/21 03/15/21 03/08/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 2.87 2.85 2.77 35.1 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 63.24 65.02 62.29 161.3 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.53 2.65 2.79 41.3 2.03 2.57 3.18
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