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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Oil Prices Improve
by Tom Moeller  November 8, 2022

• Gasoline prices rebound.

• Crude oil prices rise again.

• The cost of natural gas declines again.

Retail gasoline prices increased last week to $3.80 per gallon (11.3% y/y) after declining for three straight weeks to $3.74 during the previous week. Prices remained below the mid-June peak of $5.01 per gallon. The retail cost of diesel fuel rose one penny last week to $5.33 per gallon (43.0% y/y).

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to an average $89.14 per barrel (9.0% y/y) in the week ended November 4 from $87.58 in the prior week. Prices hit a low of $79.87 per barrel at the end of June. Yesterday, the price was $91.79 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil rose to $95.22 per barrel last week (15.1% y/y) from $93.04 in the prior week. The price peaked at $127.40 in mid-June. Yesterday, the price was $98.19 per barrel.

The price of natural gas declined last week to $4.56/mmbtu (-16.8% y/y) from $5.12/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, 2021. Yesterday, the price was $4.62/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended October 21, gasoline demand declined 8.2% from a year earlier after falling 5.9% 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 0.5% 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 4.0% y/y.

Gasoline inventories fell 3.6% y/y in the week of October 28, while crude oil inventories declined 20.1% y/y.

Measured in days' supply, gasoline inventories in the week ended October 28 rose to 23.9 days from 23.5 days in the prior week. The supply of crude oil was little changed at 28.0 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.

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