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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Fall
by Tom Moeller  March 30, 2021

• Gasoline prices reverse earlier rise.

• Crude oil prices drop sharply for second straight week.

• Natural gas prices rise slightly.

The price of regular gasoline eased to $2.85 per gallon (+42.2% y/y) in the week ended March 29 after rising to $2.87 per gallon in the previous week. The price has increased from a low of $2.11 per gallon in November of last year. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price slipped to $2.84 per gallon last week from $2.90 per gallon in the previous week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell to an average of $59.99 per barrel (+190.9% y/y) in the week ended March 26 from an average of $63.22 per barrel in the previous week. The price recovered to $61.56 per barrel yesterday. The average price of Brent crude oil declined to $63.02 per barrel (+136.3% y/y) last week from $66.40 per barrel in the previous week. The price was $64.89 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas edged up to $2.54/mmbtu (46.8% y/y) in the week ended March 26 from $2.53/mmbtu in the previous week. Yesterday, the price rose to $2.58/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended March 19, gasoline demand fell 2.5% y/y and demand for all petroleum products declined 3.7% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries fell 9.1% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 2.9% y/y while crude oil inventories rose 4.6% y/y. The supply of gasoline in inventory in the week ended March 19 was 27.4 days, the lowest since the end of November.

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 are in USENERGY.

Weekly Energy Prices 03/29/21 03/22/21 03/15/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 2.85 2.87 2.85 42.2 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 59.99 63.22 65.02 190.9 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.54 2.53 2.65 46.8 2.03 2.57 3.18
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