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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline Prices Weaken Sharply
by Tom Moeller  July 26, 2022

• Gasoline costs down for sixth straight week.

• Crude oil prices improve slightly.

• Natural gas prices strengthen.

Retail gasoline prices fell to $4.33 per gallon (+38.1% y/y) last week after declining to $4.49 per gallon in the prior week. Prices were at the lowest level since the second week of May, down from a record $5.01 per gallon in the second week of June.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices rose to $100.78 per barrel last week (44.7% y/y) after falling to $99.09 per barrel in the prior week. Prices reached a peak $120.46 per barrel in the second week of June. Yesterday the price was $96.70 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil rose to $113.53 per barrel (57.2% y/y) from $109.80 per barrel in the prior week. Yesterday, the price was $108.23 per barrel.

The price of natural gas strengthened to $7.64/mmbtu (94.4% y/y) in the week of July 22 from $6.76 /mmbtu in the previous week. The latest was the highest price in five weeks. Yesterday, the price was $8.52/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended July 15, gasoline demand fell 7.6% y/y. Demand for all petroleum products weakened 2.6% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries increased 2.4% y/y.

Gasoline inventories decreased 3.4% y/y in the week of July 15 while crude oil inventories declined 14.5% y/y.

Measured in days' supply, gasoline inventories in the week ended July 15 increased to 26.2 days, the most since the end of April. The supply of crude oil was little-changed at 25.8 days, down from 41.8 days in early-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.

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