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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Product Prices Weaken
by Tom Moeller  November 30, 2021

• Gasoline prices ease.

• Crude oil prices decline sharply.

• Natural gas prices slip.

Retail gasoline prices fell to $3.38 per gallon (+59.4% y/y) in the week ended November 29 after two weeks at $3.40 per gallon. It was the lowest price in six weeks. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price continued to trend higher to $3.54 per gallon from $3.51 per gallon in the previous week. Typically, gasoline prices decline this time of year.

With fears of new travel restrictions being imposed with the discovery of the Omicron variant, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil declined 4.6% (+69.7% y/y) to $75.40 per barrel in the week ended November 26 from $79.02 per barrel in the previous week. It was the lowest price since the first week of October. Yesterday, the price fell further to $69.95 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil declined 1.7% (+69.1% y/y) to $79.63 per barrel last week from $80.97 per barrel in the prior week. The price was $72.54 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices slipped to $4.90/mmbtu (+105.0% y/y) in the week ended November 26 after falling to $4.91/mmbtu in the prior week. It was the lowest price since the second week of September, down from its $5.87/mmbtu high. Yesterday, the price remained at $4.90/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended November 19, gasoline demand increased 11.5% y/y, up from 6.4% y/y growth early in October. Demand for all petroleum products rose 7.0% y/y in the latest week. Crude oil input to refineries rose a lessened 11.5% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 8.1% y/y, while crude oil inventories declined 7.8% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending November 19 of 22.6 days remained down sharply from the recent high of 32.9 days in the third week of February. The supply of crude oil edged lower to 28.3 days and remained below the recent 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 11/29/21 11/22/21 11/15/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.38 3.40 3.40 59.4 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 75.40 79.02 81.98 69.7 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 4.90 4.91 4.99 105.0 2.03 2.57 3.18
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