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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices on An Upward Trend
by Kathleen Stephansen  May 11, 2021

• Gasoline prices continue to rise prior to the potential effects of the Colonial Pipeline shutdown.

• Crude oil prices also continue to rise.

• Natural gas prices strengthen.

The price of retail gasoline rose 7 cents to $2.96 a gallon (59.97% y/y) in the week ended May 10 from $2.89 per gallon the prior week. The low was reached in November of last year when it hit $2.11 a gallon. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price rose 9 cents to $2.79 per gallon in the week ended May 10.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to $65.1 per barrel (up 177.4% y/y) in the week ended May 7 from an average of $63.48 in the week of April 30. The price was $64.92 yesterday. The average price of Brent crude oil rose to $67.84 per barrel (128.7% y/y) in the week ended May 7 from $66.8 the prior week. The price was $68.28 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas rose again to $2.95/mmbtu (60.33% y/y) in the week ended May 7, following the rise to $2.88/mmbtu the week prior. This latest was the highest price since $12.18 in the week of February 19. Yesterday, the price eased some to $2.93/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended April 30, gasoline demand rose 56.2% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 34.2% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 18.1% y/y. Gasoline inventories decreased 8.0% y/y while crude oil inventories declined 4.4%. The supply of gasoline in inventory in the week ending April 30 was 26.4 days, slightly down from 27.8 days during all of March. The supply of crude oil in inventory eased to 32.3 days from an average of 39.7 days in March.

These data are reported by the Energy Information Administration of 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 05/10/21 05/03/21 04/26/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 2.96 2.89 2.87 60.0 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 65.08 63.48 62.18 177.4 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.95 2.88 2.76 60.3 2.03 2.57 3.18
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