In April 2017, oil prices fell backPrices of oil and raw material imports - April 2017

In April 2017, the price of crude oil in euros recovered (+1.9% after −6.7%). The prices in euros of all other imported commodities kept falling (−3.4% after −1.9%), both those of industrial raw materials (−3.6% after −1.4%) and those of raw food materials (−3.0% after −2.9%).

Informations rapides
No 132
Paru le : 18/05/2017
Prochaine parution le : 25/08/2017 at 12:00 - July 2017

Erratum of 24 May 2017: this Informations Rapides replaces and supersedes the issue published on 18 May 2017 at 12:00 pm, as the figure for year-on-year change in price of crude oil in euros has been corrected in the second paragraph.

In April 2017, the price of crude oil in euros recovered (+1.9% after −6.7%). The prices in euros of all other imported commodities kept falling (−3.4% after −1.9%), both those of industrial raw materials (−3.6% after −1.4%) and those of raw food materials (−3.0% after −2.9%).

Oil price increased anew

In April 2017, the price of North Sea crude oil (Brent) in euros increased anew (+1.9% after −6.7%). It reached an average of €49.5 per barrel, significantly higher than its April 2016 level (+32.9%). In dollars, the increase was a little more marked (+2.1% after −6.3%) because the euro appreciated again 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 53.1 2.1 –3.3 25.6
Brent in € per barrel 49.5 1.9 –4.1 32.9
Gasoline €/L 0.401 8.7 –0.8 19.8
Gas Oil 447.0 2.9 –2.4 37.0
Heavy fuel 298.2 –0.8 –5.0 55.8
Naphtha 443.4 2.7 –5.0 35.6
  • Prices are in euros per tonne unless otherwise specified
  • Source : INSEE

Industrial commodity prices continued to fall

The prices in euros of industrial raw materials declined more sharply in April 2017 (−3.6% after −1.4%). However, they remained far superior to their last year level (+19,1%). Over the month, minerals prices decreased clearly (−5.2% after −0.9%), particularly iron ore (−19.4% after −2.2%) that suffered from surplus supply. The prices of non-ferrous metals decreased again (−1.3% after −0.4%), in particular the price of nickel (−5.6% after −4.1%) affected by dwindling outlooks in stainless steel production, and the price of zinc (−5.8% after −2.8%). In contrast, the price of precious metals bounced back (+2.3% after −2.0%). The prices of agro-industrial raw materials recovered (+2.8% after −3.0%), primarly due to the price of sawn softwood that bounced back considerably (+12.6% after −4.6%). The price of tropical wood picked up more moderatly (+2.2% after −1.6%) and the price of wood pulp accelerated (+1.4% after +0.7%). However, the prices of natural fibers fell back (−0.4% after +2.0%), as well as hide one (−3.1% after +1.5%). The price of rubber kept tumbling (−15.5% after −11.3%).

Food commodity prices decreased again

In euros, the prices of raw food materials decreased again (−3.0% after −2.9%). The prices of oil seeds and vegetable oils plummeted further (−4.3% after −4.2%) as well as those of tropical foodstuffs (−4.1% after −1.1%) and those of sugar (−9.8% after −11.9%) which were adversely affected by abundant supply. However, the price of cereals recovered (+0.8% after −1.3% ) and the price of beef meat increased again (+1.6% after +0.9%).

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 204.6 –3.0 –5.8 1.4
Tropical foodstuffs 178.6 –4.1 –9.3 –10.1
Oil seeds, vegetable oils 229.5 –4.3 –7.9 3.9
Cereals 154.1 0.8 –0.4 3.9
Sugar 170.5 –9.8 –21.2 15.1
Beef meat 164.0 1.6 9.0 8.7
Industrial raw materials 181.9 –3.6 –0.3 19.1
Agricultural raw materials 135.2 2.8 7.0 21.3
Natural Fibres 156.2 –0.4 5.2 32.1
Natural rubber 165.2 –15.5 –23.4 4.7
Hides 80.1 –3.1 –1.3 8.5
Wood pulp 106.1 1.4 2.8 12.3
Tropical wood 98.3 2.2 1.6 –6.5
Sawn softwood 136.3 12.6 29.9 43.6
Minerals 207.5 –5.2 –2.1 18.4
Iron ore 488.4 –19.4 –13.6 25.6
Non-ferrous metals 168.3 –1.3 0.8 17.3
Precious metals 259.7 2.3 4.2 10.5
All commodities 185.3 –3.4 –2.3 12.3
  • Source : INSEE

Graph3 – Food

  • Source : INSEE

Graph2 – Imported raw materials (excluding energy)

  • Source : INSEE

Graph4 – Industrial raw materials

  • Source : INSEE