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Economy in Brief

U.S. Retail Gasoline Prices Stabilize at High Level; Crude Oil Prices Continue to Rise
by Kathleen Stephansen  June 8, 2021

• Gasoline prices appear to have plateaued.

• Crude oil prices continue their ascent.

• Natural gas prices appear to find a trough.

Retail gasoline prices rose ever so slightly to $3.04 per gallon (49.1% y/y) in the week ended June 7 from $3.03 (53.3% y/y) the week prior. Timid signs of price stabilization appear to emerge with the latest weekly data. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price rose two pennies to $2.84 per gallon last week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose to $68.77 per barrel (84.3% y/y) in the week ended June 4. Yesterday, the price rose again to $69.23 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil increased to $70.84 per barrel (77.1% y/y) last week from $68.46 per barrel during the prior week. The price rose yesterday to $71.50 per barrel.

The price of natural gas increased to $3.03/mmbtu (78.2% y/y) in the week ended June 4, more than reversing the decline to $2.86/mmbtu reached in the week ended May 28. The price declined slightly yesterday to $2.98/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended May 28, gasoline demand rose 26.4% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 17.7% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 18.2% y/y. Gasoline inventories dropped 9.2% y/y, while crude oil inventories declined by 8.3%.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending May 28 was 25.5 days, little changed from the 25.6-day inventory the prior week but noticeably down from the 32.1-day inventory in February. The supply of crude oil inventories eased to 31.4 days from 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 06/07/21 05/31/21 05/24/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.04 3.03 3.02 49.1 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 68.77 66.35 64.15 84.3 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 3.03 2.86 2.91 78.2 2.03 2.57 3.18
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