In January 2015, oil prices fell back for the seventh month in a rowPrices of oil and raw material imports - January 2015

In January 2015, the price of crude oil tumbled again (–17.5%), and averaged €41.6 per barrel of Brent. Prices of imported commodities except energy in euros picked up (+1.7%), due to an increase in prices of agricultural raw materials (+4.1%) and those of raw food materials (+2.5%).

In January 2015, the price of crude oil tumbled again (–17.5%), and averaged €41.6 per barrel of Brent. Prices of imported commodities except energy in euros picked up (+1.7%), due to an increase in prices of agricultural raw materials (+4.1%) and those of raw food materials (+2.5%).

Oil prices kept plunging, bringing the drop to 57% since June 2014

In January, the price of crude oil from the North Sea (Brent) in dollars kept tumbling (–22.1% after –20.8%). Since June 2014, it fell from $111.8 to $48.4, a drop of 57%, 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 (–17.5% after –19.7%), the European currency having depreciated against the U.S. dollar (–5.6% in January 2015).

Prices of agricultural raw materials surged

In January, prices of industrial raw materials in euros picked up (+1.2% after –1.8% in December). Prices of agricultural raw materials surged (+4.1% after +0.9%) sustained by accelerating prices of wood pulp (+5.7% after +1.3%) and those of natural fibers (+4.4% after 1.9%). Cotton prices indeed climbed (+4.4% after +2.5%), due to a downward shift in planting intentions. The rebound in prices of hides (+3.0% after –4.8%) and accelerating prices of tropical wood (+2.7 % after +0,4%) also contributed to the increase. However natural rubber prices kept dropping (–0.2% after –6.1%).

Prices of minerals were almost steady (+0.1% after –2.8%). Prices of precious metals ramped up (+9.5% after +2.5%), in the wake of gold prices (+10.5% after +3.4%), and iron ore prices recovered (+3.7% after –4.7%). These are offset by decreasing prices of non-ferrous metals (–1.3% after –2.9%), especially those of copper (–8.4% after –1.1%), owing to a slowing demand from China, the world’s biggest consumer of industrial metals.

Prices of raw food materials recovered

In January, prices of raw food materials in euros recovered (+2.5% after –0.1%), due to accelerating prices of cereals (+5.0% after +2.1%) and those of tropical foodstuff (+4.3%

after +1.1%). Moreover, prices of sugar (+6.4% after –4.3%) and those of beef meat (+4.6% after –1.7%) rallied. However oil seeds and vegetable oils prices dropped (–1.0% after +0.1%), in particular as a result of falling soya meal prices (–6.7% after –1.4%), despite an upturn in palm oil prices (+8.8% after –4.5%) following heavy flooding in Malaysia.

tabpetrole_ang – 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 48,4 –22,1 –44,5 –55,0
Brent in € per barrel 41,6 –17,5 –39,5 –47,3
Gasoline €/L 0,286 –11,4 –38,6 –41,9
Gas Oil 409,9 –11,9 –31,1 –38,9
Heavy fuel 230,4 –5,4 –39,2 –47,4
Naphtha 338,3 –18,1 –41,1 –50,4
  • Prices are in euros per tonne unless otherwise specified
  • Source: INSEE

tabmatprem_ang – Imported raw materials (excluding energy) in euros

base 100 in 2000
Imported raw materials (excluding energy) in euros
Index Change (%)
over the last month over the last 3 months over the last 12 months
Food total 213,3 2,5 6,6 15,3
Tropical foodstuff 198,7 4,3 0,6 29,3
Oil seeds, vegetable oils 239,8 –1,0 11,2 2,6
Cereals 156,0 5,0 8,8 8,0
Sugar 145,0 6,4 –0,4 14,4
Beef meat 171,5 4,6 7,7 24,6
Industrial raw materials 162,6 1,2 –0,1 2,1
Agricultural raw materials 117,4 4,1 5,4 8,1
Natural Fibers 110,8 4,4 4,1 –11,8
Natural rubber 162,0 –0,2 –5,0 –28,8
Hides 102,8 3,0 –0,7 16,7
Wood pulp 108,6 5,7 8,9 19,8
Tropical wood 108,7 2,7 2,9 7,9
Sawn softwood 101,0 2,2 2,2 2,2
Minerals 186,3 0,1 –2,0 –0,1
Iron ore 429,0 3,7 –8,3 –38,4
Non-ferrous metals 156,5 –1,3 –1,8 10,4
Precious metals 239,8 9,5 9,7 11,5
All commodities 174,0 1,7 2,7 7,3
  • 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