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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Mixed
by Sandy Batten  July 27, 2021

• Gasoline prices little changed.

• Crude oil prices fell.

• Natural gas prices rise further.

Retail gasoline prices edged down to $3.14 per gallon (+44.2% y/y) in the week ended July 26 from $3.15 per gallon in the previous week, which was the highest weekly price since October 2014. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price rose to $3.04 per gallon, the highest since November 2014, from $3.03 per gallon in the previous week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell to $69.61 per barrel (+68.3% y/y) in the week ended July 23 from $73.20 per barrel in the previous week. This was the third consecutive weekly decline and the lowest price since the week ended June 4. Yesterday, the price was $71.91 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil eased further to $71.52 per barrel (+63.6% y/y), the fourth consecutive weekly decline, from $74.64 per barrel in the previous week. The price was $74.08 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices rose for the second consecutive week to $3.93/mmbtu (+128.5% y/y) in the week ended July 23 from $3.73/mmbtu in the previous week. Apart from the temporary surge in natural gas prices from the Texas freeze in February, this is the highest weekly price since mid-December 2018. The price was $4.09/mmbtu yesterday.

In the four weeks ended July 16, gasoline demand increased 9.5% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 15.0% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 13.4% y/y. Gasoline inventories dropped 4.2% y/y in the week ended July 16, while crude oil inventories declined 11.0%.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending July 16 was fairly steady at 25.0 days, remaining near the lowest since November 2019 and down sharply from the recent high of 32.9 days in the third week of February.

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 07/26/21 07/19/21 07/12/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.14 3.15 3.13 44.2 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 69.61 73.20 73.33 68.3 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 3.93 3.73 3.65 128.5 2.03 2.57 3.18
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