In January 2017, oil prices stabilised virtuallyPrices of oil and raw material imports - January 2017

In January 2017, the price of crude oil in euros stabilised virtually (+0.7% after +19.1%). It reached an average of €51.6 per barrel, hitting its higher level since July 2015. The prices in euros of all other imported commodities slowed (+1.3% after +2.9% in December), especially those of industrial raw materials (+1.4% after +3.5%). The prices of raw food materials were less vigorous (+1.1% after +1.8%).

Publications for experts
Informations rapides – No 44
Paru le : 02/21/2017

In January 2017, the price of crude oil in euros stabilised virtually (+0.7% after +19.1%). It reached an average of €51.6 per barrel, hitting its higher level since July 2015. The prices in euros of all other imported commodities slowed (+1.3% after +2.9% in December), especially those of industrial raw materials (+1.4% after +3.5%). The prices of raw food materials were less vigorous (+1.1% after +1.8%).

Oil price stabilised virtually

In January, the price of North Sea crude oil (Brent) in euros stabilised virtually (+0.7%), after an upsurge in December (+19.1%). In dollars, it increased moderatly (+1.5% after +16.4%) because the euro appreciated slightly during the month.

Graph1 – Oil (Brent)

  • Source : INSEE

Table1 – 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 54.9 1.5 10.4 78.2
Brent in € per barrel 51.6 0.7 14.4 81.9
Gasoline €/L 0.405 –1.3 10.7 59.9
Gas Oil 458.2 –0.2 9.1 71.1
Heavy fuel 313.8 –2.4 18.6 97.3
Naphtha 466.8 7.0 17.0 53.5
  • Prices are in euros per tonne unless otherwise specified
  • Source : INSEE

Industrial commodity prices slowed again

The prices in euros of industrial raw materials slowed again in January (+1.4% after +3.5% in the previous month). Agricultural raw materials prices rose much less quickly (+0.2% after +5.2%). The price of hides slid more sharply (−1.2 % after −0.2 %). The price of wood pulp edged down (−0.8 % after +2.3 %). The price of sawn softwood plummeted (−4.0 % after +6.7 %), tropical wood fell back too (−2.1 % after +2.7 %). However, the price of rubber kept increasing strongly (+13.2 % after +13.6 %), because of heavy rains in Thaïland that hindered crops. Minerals prices slowed again (+1.7 % after +3.1 %), since the price of iron decelerated sharply (+0.9% after +12.9%). Nevertheless, non-ferrous metals prices gathered pace (+1.7% after +1.0%). The prices of precious metals recovered (+4.3% after −4.0%), especially the price of palladium (+10.0% after −9.7%) buoyed by an increasing demand of the automotive industry combined with a chronic supply deficit.

Raw food material prices slackened

In euros, the prices of raw food materials grew more moderately than in December (+1.1% after +1.8%). The price rise of oil seeds and vegetable oils eased (+1.5% after +4.0%) as those of cereals (+1.4% after +4.0%). The price of beef meat fell back (−2.9% after +14.2%). However, the price of sugar bounced back (+8.2%) after a two-month strong decline, and the prices of tropical foodstuffs recovered (+0.9 % after −6.0%).

Table2 – 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 217.2 1.1 3.4 6.5
Tropical foodstuffs 196.8 0.9 –7.0 –3.5
Oil seeds, vegetable oils 249.3 1.5 9.0 18.5
Cereals 154.8 1.4 6.0 4.0
Sugar 216.4 8.2 –7.1 46.7
Beef meat 150.4 –2.9 13.2 –11.2
Industrial raw materials 182.5 1.4 15.5 32.6
Agricultural raw materials 126.3 0.2 7.4 19.0
Natural Fibres 148.5 3.0 8.8 21.9
Natural rubber 215.6 13.2 42.0 96.1
Hides 81.1 –1.2 3.3 3.4
Wood pulp 103.2 –0.8 3.7 4.0
Tropical wood 96.7 –2.1 3.5 –12.7
Sawn softwood 104.9 –4.0 0.6 22.0
Minerals 212.1 1.7 17.7 36.9
Iron ore 565.3 0.9 45.0 100.8
Non-ferrous metals 167.0 1.7 12.6 25.7
Precious metals 249.3 4.3 1.4 17.7
All commodities 189.6 1.3 10.9 21.7
  • Source : INSEE

Graph3 – Food

  • Source : INSEE

Graph2 – Imported raw materials (excluding energy)

  • Source : INSEE

Graph4 – Industrial raw materials

  • Source : INSEE