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Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Gasoline & Crude Oil Prices Ease
by Tom Moeller  May 25, 2021

• Gasoline prices edge lower w/w, but remain elevated this year.

• Crude oil prices decline to three-week low.

• Natural gas prices ease.

Retail gasoline prices eased to $3.02 per gallon (+54.1% y/y) in the week ended May 24 from $3.03 in the prior week. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price fell to $2.81 per gallon last week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil declined to $64.14 per barrel (+94.3% y/y) in the week ended May 21. Yesterday, however, the price rebounded to $66.05 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil declined to $67.20 per barrel (+90.2% y/y) last week from $68.33 during the week prior. The price eased yesterday to $66.64 per barrel.

The price of natural gas slipped to $2.91/mmbtu (+63.5% y/y) in the week ended May 21 after falling to $2.93/mmbtu during the prior week. The price declined yesterday to $2.78/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended May 14, gasoline demand rose 35.9% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 16.2% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 17.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories dropped 8.4% y/y, while crude oil inventories declined 4.5% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending May 14 was 26.2 days, unchanged from the month of April. The supply of crude oil inventory eased to 32.2 days from 33.2 days in April.

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 05/24/21 5/17/21 5/10/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.02 3.03 2.96 54.1 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 64.14 65.09 65.10 94.3 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 2.91 2.93 2.95 63.5 2.03 2.57 3.18
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