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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Oil Prices Decline
by Tom Moeller  November 22, 2022

• Gasoline prices continue to weaken.

• Crude oil prices decline sharply.

• Natural gas prices rebound.

Retail gasoline prices fell last week to $3.65 per gallon (+7.5% y/y) after declining to $3.76 per gallon during the previous week. Prices remained below the mid-June peak of $5.01 per gallon. The retail cost of diesel fuel fell eight cents (+40.5% y/y) last week to $5.23 per gallon.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil declined to an average $84.01 per barrel (6.3% y/y) in the week ended November 18 from $88.41 per barrel in the prior week. It was the lowest price since the last week of September. Yesterday, the price was $79.73 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil fell to $92.09 per barrel last week (12.8% y/y) from $96.08 in the prior week. The price peaked at $127.40 in mid-June. Yesterday, the price was $88.44 per barrel.

The price of natural gas surged last week to $6.06/mmbtu (23.4% y/y) from $4.34/mmbtu in the previous week. It was the highest price in five weeks. Prices peaked at $9.56/mmbtu in the last week of August and were up from a low of $3.56/mmbtu in the last week of December, 2021. Yesterday, the price was $6.23/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended November 11, gasoline demand declined 5.3% from a year earlier after falling 6.5% 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 rose 3.3% 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 4.4% y/y.

Gasoline inventories fell 1.9% y/y in the week of November 11, while crude oil inventories declined 20.4% y/y.

Measured in days' supply, gasoline inventories in the week ended November 11 edged higher w/w to 23.5 days but has been declining steadily from 29.2 days in early-February. The supply of crude oil fell to 27.4 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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