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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Are Mixed
by Tom Moeller  October 12, 2022

• Gasoline prices rise for a third straight week.

• Crude oil prices Increase.

• Natural gas prices decline again.

Retail gasoline prices increased last week to $3.91 per gallon (19.7% y/y) from $3.78 during the week before. It was the third increase since late-September when the price hit a low of $3.65 per gallon. Prices remained below the mid-June peak of $5.01 per gallon.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to an average $87.95 per barrel (12.1% y/y) in the week ended October 7 from $79.87 in the prior week. Prices hit a high of $120.46 per barrel in the second week of June. Yesterday, the price was $89.35 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil rose $93.14 per barrel last week (13.7% y/y) after falling to $86.49 in the previous week. The price peaked at $127.40 in mid-June. Yesterday, the price moved up to $94.43 per barrel.

The price of natural gas weakened last week to $5.95/mmbtu (+1.4% y/y) from $6.63/mmbtu in the previous week. Prices peaked at $9.56/mmbtu in the last week of August. They remained up from a low of $3.56/mmbtu in the last week of December. Yesterday, the price was $6.20/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended September 30, gasoline demand declined 4.1% from a year earlier after falling 6.6 y/y during the prior four weeks. These declines compare to 15.2% y/y growth at the end of last year. Demand for all petroleum products fell 3.8% y/y in the latest four weeks in contrast to the 14.4% growth at the end of 2021. Crude oil input to refineries increased 5.2% y/y.

Gasoline inventories fell 7.8% y/y in the week of September 30, while crude oil inventories declined 18.6% y/y.

Measured in days' supply, gasoline inventories in the week ended September 23 fell to 23.67 days from 24.7 days in the prior week. The supply of crude oil was steady with the previous week at 26.8 days 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.

The latest Oil Price Dynamics Report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here.

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