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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Oil Prices Are Little Changed
by Tom Moeller  September 14, 2021

• Gasoline prices slip from seven-year high.

• Crude oil prices ease.

• Natural gas prices rise again.

Retail gasoline prices eased to $3.17 per gallon (+45.0% y/y) in the week ended September 13 after rising to $3.18 in the previous week. Prices remained near the highest level since October 2014, up from the low of $1.77 per gallon at the end of April 2020. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price rose last week at $3.11 per gallon.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil slipped to $68.91 per barrel (+84.3% y/y) in the week ended September 10 and revered a small piece of the prior week's rise to $69.13 per barrel. Prices remained below the high of $74.04 in the first week of July. Yesterday, they strengthened yesterday to $70.45 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil was little changed at $72.13 per barrel (78.2% y/y). Prices remained down from $75.30 at the end of June. They rose to $73.53 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices strengthened last week to $4.87/mmbtu (126.5% y/y) from $4.49/mmbtu, the highest price since the third week of February 2020. It has more than doubled since early this past January when it stood at $2.38/mmbtu. The price increased to $5.21/mmbtu yesterday.

In the four weeks ended September 3, gasoline demand increased 8.9% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 18.8% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 11.9% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 5.1% y/y, while crude oil inventories declined 9.0% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending September 3 fell to 23.1 days, the lowest level since November 2019. It remained down sharply from the high of 32.9 days in the third week of February. The 27.2 days supply of crude oil in inventory stood below the high of 41.8 days in the second week of 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 09/13/21 09/06/21 08/30/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.17 3.18 3.14 45.0 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 68.91 69.13 67.55 84.3 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 4.87 4.49 4.07 126.5 2.03 2.57 3.18
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