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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Rise Moderately
by Carol Stone, CBE  May 4, 2021

• Gasoline prices continue upward.

• Crude oil prices also continue to edge higher.

• Natural gas prices strengthen.

The price of regular gasoline rose 2 cents to $2.89 a gallon (61.5% y/y) in the week ended May 3 from $2.87 per gallon in the prior week. The price compared to a low of $2.11 per gallon in November of last year. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price decreased 1 cent to $2.70 per gallon last week; its recent high was $2.94 per gallon in the third week of March.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to an average of $63.50 per barrel (up 306.0% y/y) in the week ended April 30 after rising to an average of $62.18 in the previous week. The price was $64.49 per barrel yesterday. The average price of Brent crude oil rose to $66.80 per barrel (184.9% y/y) last week from $66.05 per barrel in the previous week. The price was $65.64 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas also rose yet again, reaching to $2.88/mmbtu (+68.4% y/y) in the week ended April 30 after increasing to $2.76/mmbtu in the previous week. This latest was the highest price since $12.18 in the week of February 19. Yesterday, the price went up some more to $2.96/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended April 23, gasoline demand rose 67.5% y/y and demand for all petroleum products increased by 35.5% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 17.7% y/y. Gasoline inventories decreased 9.4% y/y while crude oil inventories declined 3.1% y/y. The supply of gasoline in inventory in the week ended April 23 was unchanged at 26.3 days, compared with 32.1 days during all of February. The supply of crude oil in inventory eased to 32.9 days from an average of 39.7 days during March.

These data are reported by the Energy Information Administration of 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 05/03/21 04/26/21 04/19/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 2.89 2.87 2.86 61.5 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 63.50 62.18 61.93 306.0 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.88 2.76 2.59 68.4 2.03 2.57 3.18
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