In December 2014, oil prices kept plunging, down to a level unprecedented since early 2009Prices of oil and raw material imports - December 2014

In December 2014, the price of crude oil tumbled down again (–19.7%), and averaged €50.5 per barrel of Brent. Prices of imported commodities except energy in euros declined (–1.1%), due to a weakening in prices of industrial raw materials (–1.8%).

In December 2014, the price of crude oil tumbled down again (–19.7%), and averaged €50.5 per barrel of Brent. Prices of imported commodities except energy in euros declined (–1.1%), due to a weakening in prices of industrial raw materials (–1.8%).

Oil prices kept plunging, bringing the drop to 44% since June

In December, the price of crude oil from the North Sea (Brent) in dollars kept tumbling (–20.8% after –10.1%). Since June, it fell from $111.8 to $62.2, a drop of 44%, down to its lowest level since early 2009. Supply has remained abundant, in particular the U.S. unconventional oil output and that of the OPEC countries. Compared to it, actual and expected demand has remained subdued. In euros, the Brent price dropped a little less (–19.7% after –8.7%), the European currency having depreciated slightly against the U.S. Dollar (–1.3%).

Prices of industrial raw materials declined

In December, prices of industrial raw materials in euros declined (–1.8% after +1.1% in November). Prices of agricultural raw materials increased slightly (+0.9% after +0.4%) sustained by natural fibers prices (+1.9% after –2.3%), thanks to a rebound in cotton prices (+2.5% after –2.5%). Prices of sawn tropical wood (+0.4% after –0.3%) and those of sawn softwood (+2.3% after –2,2%) also picked up. However natural rubber prices (–6.1% after +1.5%) and those of hides (–4.8% after +1.3%) fell down.

Prices of minerals decreased (–2.8% after +1.4%), on the back of iron ore prices (–4.7%; –43.6% year-on-year) and prices of non-ferrous metals (–2.9% after +3.3%), owing to a slowing demand from China, the world’s biggest consumer of industrial metals. However, prices of precious metals recovered (+2.5% after –2.2%), sustained by rallying prices of gold (+3.4% after –2.3%) and platinum (+1.9% after –1.2%).

Prices of raw food materials remained almost steady

In December, prices of raw food materials in euros were almost stable (–0.1% after +4.1%). The upturn in tropical foodstuff prices (+1.1% after –4.7%) and the accelerating prices of cereals (+2.1% after +1.5%) offset the decrease in the prices of sugar (–4.3% after –2.1%) and those of beef meat (–1.7% after +4.6%).

tabpetrole – Oil and petroleum products

in euros
Oil and petroleum products
Prices Change (%)
of last month over the last month over the last 3 months over the last 12 months
Brent in $ per barrel 62.2 –20.8 –36.1 –43.8
Brent in € per barrel 50.5 –19.7 –33.1 –37.5
Gasoline €/L 0.323 –21.8 –39.3 –32.4
Gas Oil 465.1 –18.0 –27.9 –32.1
Heavy fuel 243.6 –25.6 –44.4 –45.0
Naphtha 413.0 –18.0 –37.2 –40,7
  • Prices are in euros per tonne unless otherwise specified
  • Source: INSEE

tabmatprem – Imported raw materials (excluding energy) in euros

base 100 in 2000
Imported raw materials (excluding energy) in euros
Index Changes (%)
over the last month over the last 3 months over the last 12 months
Food total 208.2 –0.1 0.2 16.4
Tropical foodstuff 190.6 1.1 –1.7 28.5
Oil seeds, vegetable oils 242.3 0.1 –5.8 2.8
Cereals 148.7 2.1 6.2 2.0
Sugar 136.3 –4.3 7.6 1.7
Beef meat 163.9 –1.7 10.4 40.0
Industrial raw materials 160.7 –1.8 –1.8 2.4
Agricultural raw materials 112.7 0.9 1.8 6.0
Natural Fibers 106.0 1.9 –2.4 –12.2
Natural rubber 162.4 –6.1 –7.5 –34.0
Hides 99.9 –4.8 –1.9 13.4
Wood pulp 102.7 1.3 4.9 14.6
Tropical wood 105.8 0.4 0.4 6.3
Sawn softwood 98.8 2.3 –0.9 2.8
Minerals 186.2 –2.8 –3.1 1.1
Iron ore 413.6 –4.7 –12.4 –43.6
Non-ferrous metals 158.5 –2.9 –1.5 14.7
Precious metals 219.0 2.5 –1.1 4.2
All commodities 171.0 –1.1 –1.0 8.0
  • Source: INSEE

G_petrole_ang – Oil

  • Source: INSEE

G_alim_ang – Food

  • Source: INSEE

G_ensemble_ang – All commodities

  • Source: INSEE

G_indus_ang – Industrial raw materials

  • Source: INSEE