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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Remain Elevated
by Tom Moeller  October 26, 2021

• Gasoline prices strengthen further.

• Crude oil prices continue to rise.

• Natural gas prices decline w/w, then recover.

Retail gasoline prices rose 1.8% (57.9% y/y) to $3.38 per gallon in the week ended October 25 from $3.32 per gallon in the previous week. The gain left prices at the highest level since September 2014, up from their low of $1.77 per gallon in April 2020. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price rose to $3.37 per gallon from $3.28 per gallon in the previous week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil increased 2.4% (105.3% y/y) to $83.14 per barrel in the week ended October 22 from $81.22 per barrel in the previous week. Yesterday, the price was $38.76 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil rose to $85.03 per barrel last week (101.1% y/y) from $83.82 per barrel in the prior week. The price was $85.69 per barrel yesterday.

Natural gas prices fell 11.1% to $4.95/mmbtu (+80.7% y/y) in the week ended October 22 and added to the prior week's decline to $5.57/mmbtu. It was the lowest price in six weeks. Yesterday, however, the price rebounded to $5.72/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended October 15, gasoline demand increased 9.8% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 14.0% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 13.1% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 4.1% y/y, while crude oil inventories declined 7.7% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending October 15 fell to 23.1 days, the lowest level since early-September and remained down sharply from the recent high of 32.9 days in the third week of February. The supply of crude oil edged up 27.9 days but remained below the recent high of 41.8 days in the second week of 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 10/25/21 10/18/21 10/11/21 Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.38 3.32 3.27 57.9 2.24 2.57 2.27
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 83.14 81.22 78.43 105.3 39.43 56.91 64.95
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 4.95 5.57 5.87 80.7 2.03 2.57 3.18
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