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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Weaken
by Tom Moeller  April 5, 2022

• Gasoline prices retrace March gains.

• Crude oil prices fall moderately.

• Natural gas prices continue to strengthen.

Retail gasoline prices declined to $4.17 per gallon in the week ended April 4 (+46.0% y/y) from $4.23 per gallon in the week prior. Prices reached a record $4.32 per gallon in the second week of March. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price fell to $4.21 per gallon from $4.24 in the prior week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell to $103.83 per barrel (+71.2% y/y) in the week ended April 1 after increasing to $113.33 in the week prior. Yesterday, the price eased to $103.28 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil fell to $111.26 per barrel last week (+74.7% y/y) after rising to $123.60 in the prior week. The price was $108.15 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas strengthened to $5.41/mmbtu (113.0% y/y) in the week of April 1 after rising to $5.15 in the previous week. It was the highest price since early-February. Prices remain below the high of $5.78/mmbtu in the third week of February 2022. Yesterday, the price rose to $5.72/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended March 25, gasoline demand rose a greatly reduced 1.0% y/y, down from 15.2% y/y late in December. Growth in demand for all petroleum products fell to 8.1% y/y, the weakest growth in four years. Growth in crude oil input to refineries rose a lessened 14.0% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose 3.6% y/y but crude oil inventories declined 14.2% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ended March 25 rose slightly to 27.3 days. The supply of crude oil eased to 26.1 days and 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 04/04/22 03/28/22 03/21/22 Y/Y % 2021 2020 2019
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 4.17 4.23 4.24 46.0 3.28 2.24 2.57
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 103.83 113.33 100.47 71.2 67.74 39.43 56.91
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 5.41 5.15 4.68 113.0 3.89 2.03 2.57
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