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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Weaken
by Tom Moeller  March 22, 2022

• Gasoline prices partially reverse earlier gain.

• Crude oil prices fall sharply.

• Natural gas prices slip.

Retail gasoline prices fell to $4.24 per gallon last week (48.0% y/y) after rising to the record $4.32 per gallon reached in the week earlier. Haver Analytics adjusts the gasoline price series for normal seasonal variation. The seasonally adjusted price fell to $4.21 per gallon from $4.26 in the prior week.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil declined to $100.47 per barrel (+58.9% y/y) in the week ended March 18 after rising to $113.39 in the week prior. Yesterday, the price increased to $112.12 per barrel. The average price of Brent crude oil fell to $109.59 per barrel last week (+65.8% y/y) from $122.29 in the prior week. The price returned to $122.29 per barrel yesterday.

The price of natural gas eased to $4.68/mmbtu (+85.0% y/y) in the week of March 18 after rising to $4.71 in the previous week. Prices have fallen from a high of $5.78/mmbtu in the third week of February 2022. Yesterday, the price rose to $4.77/mmbtu.

In the four weeks ended March 11, gasoline demand rose 8.6% y/y, down from 15.2% y/y late in December. Growth in demand for all petroleum products increased a steady 12.2% y/y. Growth in crude oil input to refineries rose a strengthened 28.7% y/y, after 13.1% y/y growth early in November. Gasoline inventories rose 3.8% y/y but crude oil inventories declined 12.9% y/y.

The supply of gasoline inventories in the week ending March 11 fell to 27.3 days. The supply of crude oil held steady at 27.0 days and remained down from 41.8 days early in March of last year.

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 03/21/22 03/14/22 03/07/22 Y/Y % 2021 2020 2019
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular, Monday) 4.24 4.32 4.10 48.0 3.28 2.24 2.57
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl, Previous Week's Average) 100.47 113.39 106.77 58.9 67.74 39.43 56.91
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, Previous Week's Average) 4.68 4.71 4.57 85.0 3.89 2.03 2.57
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