In December 2015, oil prices tumbled againPrices of oil and raw material imports - December 2015

In December 2015, the crude oil price in euros plunged (-16.4% after -3.3% in November). Standing at €34.6 on average per barrel of Brent, this price tumbled by 31.4% compared to its level in December 2014 (€50.5), hitting its lowest level since March 2009. Prices in euros of the other imported commodities declined afresh (-1.0% after -0.8%): this decrease was mainly due to raw food materials (-2.3%), while those of industrial raw materials were practically stable (-0.1%).

Informations rapides
No 12
Paru le : 15/01/2016
Prochaine parution le : 20/09/2017 at 12:00 - August 2017

In December 2015, the crude oil price in euros plunged (−16.4% after −3.3% in November). Standing at €34.6 on average per barrel of Brent, this price tumbled by 31.4% compared to its level in December 2014 (€50.5), hitting its lowest level since March 2009. Prices in euros of the other imported commodities declined afresh (−1.0% after −0.8%): this decrease was mainly due to raw food materials (−2.3%), while those of industrial raw materials were practically stable (−0.1%).

Oil prices declined

In December, the price of crude oil from the North Sea (Brent) in euros tumbled (−16.4% after −3.3%). Actually, the supply remained significantly in excess despite the geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, and the stock levels were still plethoric in the United States. The downturn was less marked in dollars (−15.1% after −7.7%) because the euro appreciated in December.

Prices of industrial raw materials are virutally stable

Prices of industrial raw materials in euros were almost unchanged (−0.1% after −2.1%), due to those of minerals (−0.1% after –3.8%) which form the bulk of these imported commodities. On the one hand, prices of iron ore fell down again (−15.5% after −8.3%), on account of high inventories in China, and prices of precious metals dropped as well (−2.5% after −5.2%), in particular gold (−2.8%), and silver (−4.5%). On the other hand, prices of non-ferrous metals picked up (+2.4% after −3.0%), in particular some industrial metals such as copper (+0.7% after −6.2%), whose output stabilised, and lead whose prices accelerated (+8.9% after +1.6%).

Prices of agricultural raw materials fell back (−1.3% after +3.4% ; −3.2% year-on-year), in particular, prices of wood pulp (−3.2% after +3.7%) and tropical wood (−2.9% after +3.9%).

Prices of raw food materials declined

Prices of raw food materials in euros slipped back (−2.3% after +0.7%). Doubts over delayed crops in Brazil played a part in the price decrease of sugar (−0.8% after +10.3%). Prices of cereals fell back (−1.3% after +2.2%), due to a weak global demand, in particular for corn ; however, purchasing helped rice prices remain steady. Prices of oil seeds and vegetable oils decreased again (−6.3% after −2.6%), due to a high output of olive oil in particular. Last, the rise in beef meat prices (+3.7%) partly offset the decrease in the other foodstuffs.

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 37.7 –15.1 –20.1 –39.3
Brent in € per barrel 34.6 –16.4 –17.7 –31.4
Gasoline €/L 0.29 –7.1 –9.3 –11.2
Gas Oil 324.3 –20.2 –22.7 –30.3
Heavy fuel 160.7 –26.8 –27.5 –34.0
Naphtha 358.6 –8.6 –2.4 –13.2
  • 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 (%)
of last month over the last month over the last 3 months over the last 12 months
Food total 209.4 –2.3 –0.8 0.6
Tropical foodstuffs 225.4 –1.2 4.6 18.3
Oil seeds, vegetable oils 213.2 –6.3 –10.1 –12.0
Cereals 148.9 –1.3 1.8 0.2
Sugar 154.3 –0.8 36.5 13.2
Beef meat 159.5 3.7 3.5 –2.7
Industrial raw materials 140.9 –0.1 –5.0 –12.4
Agricultural raw materials 109.2 –1.3 3.0 –3.2
Natural Fibres 123.6 –0.2 5.3 16.4
Natural rubber 118.5 –1.5 –3.4 –27.1
Hides 75.5 2.3 –2.8 –24.4
Wood pulp 100.7 –3.2 –0.8 –2.0
Tropical wood 114.7 –2.9 0.6 8.4
Sawn softwood 88.5 1.3 11.9 –10.5
Minerals 158.0 –0.1 –7.7 –15.2
Iron ore 269.3 –15.5 –27.7 –34.9
Non-ferrous metals 136.4 2.4 –4.9 –13.9
Precious metals 211.0 –2.5 –2.9 –3.6
All commodities 160.1 –1.0 –3.2 –6.4
  • Source : INSEE

G_petrole_ang – Oil (Brent)

  • Source : Insee

G_alim_ang – Food

  • Source : Insee

G_ensemble_ang – Imported raw materials (excluding energy)

  • Source : Insee

G_indus_ang – Industrial raw materials

  • Source : Insee