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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Weaken Broadly
by Tom Moeller  September 7, 2022

• Gasoline prices continue moving down.

• Crude oil prices decline sharply.

• Natural gas prices ease.

Retail gasoline prices fell to $3.75 per gallon (+17.9% y/y) last week after declining to $3.83 per gallon in the prior week. Prices have weakened steadily from a record $5.01 per gallon in the second week of June.

Crude oil prices declined last week. West Texas Intermediate prices fell to $90.50 per barrel (+30.9% y/y) in the week ended September 2nd from $94.18 in the prior week. Yesterday the price was $86.88 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil declined to $95.59 per barrel (+30.9% y/y) after rising to $98.87 tin the previous week. The price peaked at $127.40 in mid-June. Yesterday, the price was $91.43 per barrel.

The price of natural gas fell to $9.17/mmbtu (104.2% y/y) in the week of September 2nd from $9.56/mmbtu in the previous week. Prices remained up from a low of $3.56/mmbtu in the last week of December. Yesterday, the price was $8.52/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended August 26, gasoline demand fell 6.4% y/y compared to 15.2% y/y growth at the end of last year. Demand for all petroleum products also declined 6.4% y/y, off from 14.4% growth at the end of 2021. Crude oil input to refineries increased 2.0% y/y, slightly more than the 1.4% gain one week earlier.

Gasoline inventories fell 5.6% y/y in the week of August 26 while crude oil inventories declined 17.0% y/y.

Measured in days' supply, gasoline inventories in the week ended August 26 eased to 24.2 days from 24.3 days in the prior week. The supply of crude oil fell to 25.5 days from 25.9 days one week earlier and remained 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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