U.S. Energy Prices Fall
- Gasoline prices decline sharply.
- Crude oil prices slip.
- Natural gas prices weaken.
Retail gasoline prices fell last week to an average $3.93 per gallon (-0.2% y/y) for all grades from $3.98 the week before. It was the lowest price in four weeks. Prices have ranged between $3.20 and $5.11 for the last year. The retail price for on-highway diesel fuel increased to $4.48 per gallon (-12.5% y/y) last week, up from $4.39 the previous week. Prices have ranged this past year between $3.79 per gallon and $5.81 per gallon.
The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil eased to an average $79.75 per barrel (-15.3% y/y) in the week ended August 25 versus $80.92 in the prior week. It was the lowest price in four weeks, down from a high of $83.05 in the second week of August. It remained above the late-June low of $69.37 but below the high of $120.46 in the week of June 10, 2022. On Monday, the price was $80.10 per barrel. Brent crude prices dipped to $84.71 (-14.3% y/y) per barrel last week from $85.87 in the prior week. It also was the lowest price in four weeks. The recent low for Brent was $73.89 in the week of June 2, and the recent high was $127.40 in the week of June 10, 2022. Yesterday’s price was $85.44 per barrel.
Natural gas prices averaged $2.53/mmbtu (-73.5% y/y) in the week of August 25 after falling to $2.59 in the prior week. The price has ranged between a low of $1.93 in the first week of June to $9.17 in the first week of September 2022. Yesterday, the price was 2.60/mmbtu.
In the four weeks ended August 18, gasoline demand rose 1.3% from a year earlier after falling 0.9% y/y in the prior four-week period. Demand for all petroleum products increased 4.5% y/y versus 3.8% y/y in the prior week. Crude oil input to refineries rose 3.2% in the latest four weeks from a year ago after rising 2.0% y/y in the prior four weeks.
Gasoline inventories edged 0.9% higher y/y in the August 18 week after a 0.2% y/y rise in the prior week and residual fuel oil inventories fell 7.6% y/y after a 1.7% y/y fall in the prior week. Crude oil inventories including the Strategic Petroleum Reserve fell 10.5% from a year ago after an 11.1% y/y decrease in the prior week.
Measured in days’ supply, gasoline inventories in the week of August 18 stood at 24.2 days versus 24.1 days in the prior week. The recent high was 29.7 days in the third week of January and the recent low was 23.4 days in the last week of June. The supply of crude oil was 26.0 days, down from 26.5 days in the prior week. The recent high was 31.9 days at the beginning of March.
These data are reported by the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy. The price and supply/demand data can be found in Haver’s WEEKLY database.
Tom MoellerAuthorMore in Author Profile »
Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio. Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984. He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C. In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists. Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.