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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Are Mixed
by Tom Moeller  July 13, 2021

• Gasoline prices rise slightly.

• Crude oil prices edge lower.

• Natural gas prices slip.

Retail gasoline prices edged higher to $3.13 per gallon (42.7% y/y) in the week ended July 12 from $3.12 during the prior week. It was the highest price since October 2014 as stronger demand and higher crude oil prices lift the cost of energy products. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price eased to $3.00 per gallon from $3.01 in the previous week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell to $73.33 per barrel (+81.3% y/y) in the week ended July 9 from $74.04 in the prior week. After sharp increases prices last month, prices have leveled off. Yesterday, the price edged higher to $74.10 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil rose to $74.97 per barrel (+74.6% y/y) last week, nearly the highest price since October 2018, after rising to $75.12 per barrel during the prior week. The price improved to $75.34 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices fell to $3.65/mmbtu (+105.1% y/y) in the week ended July 9 from $3.72/mmbtu, which was the highest price since the third week of February. The price was $3.70/mmbtu yesterday.

In the four weeks ended July 2, gasoline demand increased 12.5% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 17.8% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 16.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories dropped 6.4% y/y in the week ended July 2, while crude oil inventories declined 10.7%.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending July 2 was 24.8 days, the least since November 2019 and down sharply from a high of 32.9 days in the third week of February. The supply of crude oil inventories continued lower to 27.5 days from an early-March high of 41.8 days.

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 07/12/21 07/05/21 06/28/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.13 3.12 3.09 42.7 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 73.33 74.04 73.48 81.3 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 3.65 3.72 3.28 105.1 2.03 2.57 3.18
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