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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Are Firm
by Tom Moeller  July 20, 2021

• Gasoline prices rise.

• Crude oil prices are little-changed w/w.

• Natural gas prices rebound.

Retail gasoline prices rose to $3.15 per gallon (44.2% y/y) in the week ended July 19 from $3.13 during the prior week. It was the highest price since October 2014, lifted by stronger demand and higher crude oil prices. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price eased to $3.03 per gallon from $3.00 in the previous week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil of $73.21 per barrel (80.5% y/y) in the week ended July 16 compared to $73.33 in the prior week. Yesterday, the price plunged to $66.42 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil eased to $74.64 per barrel (73.2% y/y) last week after falling to $73.33 per barrel during the prior week. The price weakened to $68.17 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices rose to $3.73/mmbtu (+110.7% y/y) in the week ended July 16 after falling to $3.65/mmbtu in the prior week. The price was $3.75/mmbtu yesterday.

In the four weeks ended July 9, gasoline demand increased 9.7% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 14.1% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 14.3% y/y. Gasoline inventories dropped 4.8% y/y in the week ended July 9, while crude oil inventories declined 10.9%.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending July 9 was fairly steady at 24.9 days, remaining 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 edged lower to 27.1 days, down 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 07/19/21 07/12/21 07/05/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.15 3.13 3.12 44.2 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 73.21 73.33 74.04 80.5 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 3.73 3.65 3.72 110.7 2.03 2.57 3.18
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