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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Are Mixed
by Tom Moeller  May 3, 2022

• Gasoline prices increase sharply.

• Crude oil prices ease.

• Natural gas prices fall.

Retail gasoline prices increased to $4.18 gallon in the week ended May 2 (44.7% y/y) after rising to $4.11 per gallon the prior week. Prices set 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 rose to $4.25 per gallon, leaving it just short of the record.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell to $102.86 per barrel (+62.0% y/y) in the week ended April 29 after rising to $104.04 per barrel in the prior week. These compare to a high of $113.33 averaged in the fourth week of March. Yesterday, the price rose to $105.17 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil fell to $105.49 per barrel (+57.6%) from $108.40 the prior week. The price was $107.37 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas fell in the week ended April 29 to $6.81/mmbtu (+136.5% y/y) after rising to $7.10 in the previous week. The price has risen from a low of $1.52/mmbtu averaged in the third week of June 2020. Yesterday, the price strengthened to $7.30/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended April 22, gasoline demand declined 2.2% y/y. Growth in demand for all petroleum products eased 1.6% y/y. Growth in crude oil input to refineries fell to 5.0% y/y. Gasoline inventories decreased 1.8% y/y while crude oil inventories declined 14.2% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ended April 22 was 26.5 days, down from 30.4 days three months earlier. The supply of crude oil rose to 26.4 days from 26.2 days in the prior week.

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.

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