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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Continue to Rise
by Tom Moeller  April 27, 2021

• Gasoline prices edge higher.

• Crude oil prices improve.

• Natural gas prices strengthen.

The price of regular gasoline ticked up to $2.87 per gallon (62.0% y/y) in the week ended April 26 from $2.86 per gallon in the prior week. The price compared to 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 eased to $2.71 per gallon last week from a high of $2.94 per gallon in the third week of March.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil improved to an average of $62.17 per barrel (1,608.0% y/y) in the week ended April 23 after rising to an average of $61.93 in the previous week. The extraordinary 1,608.0% y/y increase is from a base of $3.64 last year, depressed by unwanted inventory related to pandemic shutdowns. The price was $61.91 per barrel yesterday. The average price of Brent crude oil rose to $66.05 per barrel (203.7% y/y) last week from $65.41 per barrel in the previous week. The price was $65.64 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas strengthened to $2.76/mmbtu (49.2% y/y) in the week ended April 23 after rising to $2.59/mmbtu in the previous week. It was the highest price since the first week of March. Yesterday, the price eased to $2.73/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended April 16, gasoline demand rose 71.4% y/y and demand for all petroleum products increased by 33.0% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 18.5% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 10.7% y/y while crude oil inventories declined 2.1% y/y. The supply of gasoline in inventory in the week ended April 16 declined to 26.3 days, down from 32.1 days during all of February. The supply of crude oil in inventory eased to 33.0 days from 41.8 days four weeks earlier.

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 04/26/21 04/19/21 04/12/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 2.87 2.86 2.85 62.0 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 62.17 61.93 59.35 1,608.0 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.76 2.59 2.45 49.2 2.03 2.57 3.18
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