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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Are Mixed
by Tom Moeller  August 10, 2021

• Price of gasoline edges to new high.

• Crude oil prices reverse prior week's increase.

• Natural gas prices continue to strengthen.

Retail gasoline prices increased to $3.17 per gallon (46.4% y/y) in the week ended August 9 from $3.16 per gallon in the previous week. It was the highest level since October 2014. They have strengthened from their low of $1.77 per gallon at the end of April 2020. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price rose last week to $3.11 per gallon from $3.06 per gallon in the previous week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell to $69.49 per barrel (+67.2% y/y) in the week ended August 6 from $72.75 per barrel in the previous week. Yesterday, the price was $66.48 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil fell $71.47 per barrel (59.5% y/y) from $74.68 per barrel in the previous week. The price was $69.13 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices were up for the fourth consecutive week, rising to $4.15/mmbtu (94.8% y/y) in the week ended August 6 from $4.06/mmbtu in the previous week. Prices have risen from their June 2020 low of $1.52/mmbtu. The price strengthened to $4.24/mmbtu yesterday.

In the four weeks ended July 30, gasoline demand increased 8.8% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 12.4% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 10.7% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 7.6% y/y in the week ended July 30, while crude oil inventories declined 9.7% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending July 30 eased to 24.3 days, remaining near their lowest since November 2019 and down sharply from the high of 32.9 days in the third week of February.

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 08/09/21 08/02/21 07/26/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.17 3.16 3.14 46.4 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 69.49 72.75 69.64 67.2 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 4.15 4.06 3.93 94.8 2.03 2.57 3.18
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