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Economy in Brief

U.S. Petroleum Prices Increase
by Tom Moeller  June 16, 2020

• Gasoline and crude oil prices move higher.

• Natural gas prices hold steady.

The price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose to $2.10 per gallon (-21.4% y/y) in the week ended June 15 from $2.04 per gallon in the previous week. It was the seventh consecutive week of increase and left prices at the highest level since late-March. The spot market price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline rose to $1.12 per gallon (-34.5% y/y) in the week ended June 9 from $1.02 in the prior week. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for regular seasonal variation. The seasonally-adjusted price rose this past week to $2.00 per gallon from $1.91, again the highest in three months.

The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to an average $37.87 per barrel (-27.9% y/y) in the week ended June 12 from $37.31 in the prior week, despite concerns that the coronavirus might limit demand. Yesterday, the price dipped to $37.12 per barrel. The price of Brent crude oil rose to $39.52 per barrel (-37.5% y/y) from $38.37, the highest level since early-March. Yesterday, the price was $39.44 per barrel.

The average price of natural gas held steady at $1.70/mmbtu (-29.4% y/y) in the week ended June 12. The price remained below the $4.67/mmbtu peak in late-November 2018. Yesterday, the price fell to $1.64/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ending June 5, gasoline demand fell 22.7% y/y, while total petroleum product demand fell 20.1% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries declined 21.8% y/y in the past four weeks. Gasoline inventories rose 10.1% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 6.8% y/y.

These data are reported by 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, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 06/15/20 06/08/20 06/01/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon Regular, Monday Price, End of Period) 2.10 2.04 1.97 -21.4 2.57 2.27 2.47
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 37.87 37.31 34.20 -27.9 56.91 64.95 50.87
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 1.70 1.70 1.77 -29.4 2.57 3.18 2.99
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