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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Reverse Earlier Gains
by Tom Moeller July 7, 2010

The pump price for regular gasoline fell last week to $2.73 per gallon last week and reversed the gains during the prior two weeks. Pulled higher by firm demand, prices have risen from the late-2009 level of $2.61. Yesterday, the spot market price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell to $1.90, just above its lowest this year. The figures are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy and can be found in Haver's WEEKLY & DAILY databases.

With emerging signs of economic weakness, the average price for a barrel of light sweet crude oil (WTI) fell last week to $74.98 and the price remained down from the high of $84.23 averaged during April. Yesterday crude prices fell further to $71.98 per barrel.

U.S. natural gas prices slipped last week to an average $4.66 per mmbtu (26.4% y/y). Prices remained down from a high of $6.50 early in January.

Demand for gasoline improved 1.5% last week versus one year ago. The demand for residual fuel oil fell by one-third versus last year while distillate demand continued to surge by 10.9% y/y. That's improved from a 12.3% decline during February. Inventories of crude oil and petroleum products have been rising since the Winter but slipped during the last twelve months.

The energy price data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database while the daily figures are in DAILY. The gasoline demand figures are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Prices 07/05/10 06/28/10 06/21/10 y/y 2009 2008 2007
Retail Regular Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.73 2.76 2.74 4.4% 2.35 3.25 2.80
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI  ($ per bbl.) 74.98 77.11 76.74 8.1% 61.39 100.16 72.25
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu) 4.66 4.93 5.10 26.4% 3.95 8.88 6.97
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