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Economy in Brief

U.S. Energy Prices Remain Under Pressure
by Tom Moeller  November 8, 2016

Prices in the energy sector remained under pressure last week. Natural gas prices declined to $2.43 per mmbtu last week, prices have fallen from $3.15 just three weeks ago, and equaled the lowest level since early June. They remained up, however, by nearly one-quarter y/y. Prices fell further to $2.33 yesterday.

WTI crude oil prices fell to $45.51 per barrel last week (-1.0% y/y). Yesterday, prices fell further to $44.89 per barrel, but remained up versus a daily low of $26.21 per barrel in February. Brent crude oil prices declined to $47.18 per barrel last week, then were $46.11 yesterday.

Regular gasoline prices held steady at $2.23 per gallon (-0.1% y/y) last week, but remained near their highest level since early July. Prices remained down, however, versus a 2014 high of $3.71 per gallon. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The adjusted price improved to $2.31 per gallon, the highest level in twelve months.

Last week, gasoline demand declined 1.2% y/y, while demand for all petroleum products improved 2.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories rose 3.9% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 3.6% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) was little changed y/y in the last four weeks.

The energy price data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The petroleum demand and inventory figures are from the Oil & Gas Journal Weekly. These data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database. The daily figures are in DAILY and greater detail on prices, demand and production, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 11/07/16 10/31/16 10/24/16 Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.23 2.23 2.24 -0.1 2.03 2.30 3.33
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 45.51 49.45 50.58 -1.0 48.90 93.64 97.96
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.43 2.69 3.10 20.4 2.62 4.37 3.73
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