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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Firm
by Tom Moeller  January 11, 2022

• Gasoline prices are highest in four weeks.

• Crude oil prices rise again.

• Natural gas prices rebound.

Retail gasoline prices increased to $3.30 per gallon (42.2% y/y) in the week ended January 10 after holding steady in the previous week. It was the highest price since the second week of December. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price eased to $3.40 per gallon from $3.41 per gallon in the previous week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil improved 2.3% (55.0% y/y) to $77.84 per barrel in the first week of January from $76.08 in the prior week. It was the highest price since late-November after falling to $66.90 in the first week of December. Yesterday, the price was $78.23 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil rose 2.5% (51.9% y/y) to $80.72 per barrel from $78.73 per barrel in the prior week. The price was $80.62 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas rose 6.7% to $3.80/mmbtu (38.7% y/y) in the week ended January 7 and reversed most of its w/w decline to $3.56/mmbtu in the previous week. The price remained down, nevertheless, from its recent high of $5.87/mmbtu reached in the second week of October. Yesterday, the price increased to $4.16/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended December 31, gasoline demand rose an improved 15.2% y/y. Demand for all petroleum products grew a greatly improved 14.4% y/y. Crude oil input to refineries rose 10.9% y/y. Gasoline inventories fell 3.4% y/y, while crude oil inventories declined 10.0% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending December 31 rose to 25.6 days from 24.0 days in the previous week but remained well below the recent high of 32.9 days in the third week of February 2021. The supply of crude oil fell to 26.5 days, the lowest level since late-August.

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 01/10/22 01/03/22 12/27/21 Y/Y % 2021 2020 2019
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 3.30 3.28 3.28 42.2 3.28 2.24 2.57
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 77.84 76.08 71.59 55.0 67.74 39.43 56.91
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 3.80 3.56 3.85 38.7 3.89 2.03 2.57
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