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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Product Prices Continue to Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  March 1, 2022

• Gasoline prices surge.

• Crude oil prices ease w/w, but remain at highest point since September 2014.

• Natural gas prices continue to increase.

Retail gasoline prices jumped to $3.61 per gallon (33.1% y/y) in the week ended February 28 from $3.53 in the previous week. It was the highest price since the second week of July 2014. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price improved to $3.59 per gallon from $3.57 in the prior week.

Crude oil prices have surged with the escalating conflict in Eastern Europe. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil, however, briefly slipped to $92.16 per barrel (+47.9% y/y) in the week of February 25 from $92.85 in the prior week. Yesterday, the price strengthened to $95.72 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil increased to $99.51 per barrel (51.1% y/y) from $97.80 in the prior week. The price increased to $103.08 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas rose to $4.62/mmbtu (61.5% y/y) in the week of February 25 after rising to $4.39 in the previous week. Prices have risen from a low of $1.52/mmbtu in the third week of June 2020. Yesterday, the price eased to $4.46/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended February 18, gasoline demand rose 10.7% y/y, down from 17.1% y/y late in December. Growth in demand for all petroleum products rose a fairly steady 12.1% y/y. Growth in crude oil input to refineries rose 7.9% y/y, after 13.1% y/y growth early in November. Gasoline inventories declined 4.1% y/y and crude oil inventories declined 9.3% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending February 18 was steady at 28.5 days. The supply of crude oil edged improved to 27.3 days but that remained down from 41.8 days early in March of last year.

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 02/28/22 02/21/22 02/14/22 Y/Y % 2021 2020 2019
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.61 3.53 3.49 33.1 3.28 2.24 2.57
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 92.16 92.85 90.64 47.9 67.74 39.43 56.91
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 4.62 4.39 4.19 61.5 3.89 2.03 2.57
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