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Economy in Brief

U.S. Crude Oil Prices Decline Sharply While Gasoline Costs Dip
by Tom Moeller  July 28, 2015

WTI crude oil costs dropped sharply last week to an average $49.30 per barrel (-52.8% y/y), down from last month's high of $60.07. Yesterday, prices declined further to $47.39 per barrel. These prices compare to a June 2014 high of $107.95. The seasonally adjusted price, generated by Haver Analytics, declined last week to $43.70 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices firmed w/w to $55.75 per barrel and were $54.07 yesterday.

Gasoline prices at the pump fell last week to an average $2.75 per gallon (-22.4% y/y). This summer's high in prices was $2.84 per gallon. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price fell 5 cents to $2.63 per gallon. Spot market gasoline prices eased w/w to $1.95 per gallon (-30.1% y/y).

Natural gas prices eased last week to $2.87 per mmbtu (-24.7% y/y) and were $2.83 yesterday.

Gasoline demand rose 6.9% y/y while demand for all petroleum products rose 3.4% y/y. Gasoline inventories eased 0.7% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 8.4% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) grew 1.7% y/y during the last five weeks, less than half the growth logged in June.

The energy price data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The petroleum demand and inventory figures are from the Oil & Gas Journal Weekly. These data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database. The daily figures are in DAILY and greater detail on prices, demand and production, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 07/27/15 07/20/15 07/13/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.75 2.80 2.83 -22.4 2.30 3.33 3.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 49.30 51.69 52.38 -52.8 93.64 97.96 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.87 2.90 2.72 -24.7 4.37 3.73 2.7
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