In May 2017, oil prices fell back anewPrices of oil and raw material imports - May 2017

In May 2017, the price of crude oil in euros fell back (−7.1% after +1.9%). The prices in euros of all other imported commodities fell for the third month in a row (−4.3% after −3.4%), notably those of industrial raw materials (−6.0% after −3.6%). The prices of raw food materials decreased less strongly (−1.2% after −3.0%).

In May 2017, the price of crude oil in euros fell back (−7.1% after +1.9%). The prices in euros of all other imported commodities fell for the third month in a row (−4.3% after −3.4%), notably those of industrial raw materials (−6.0% after −3.6%). The prices of raw food materials decreased less strongly (−1.2% after −3.0%).

Oil price fell back anew

In May 2017, the price of North Sea crude oil (Brent) in euros decreased anew (−7.1% after +1.9%). It reached an average of €46 per barrel, higher than its May 2016 level (+10.4%). In dollars, the decrease was less marked (−4.1% after +2.1%) because the euro appreciated 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 50.9 –4.1 –8.3 7.9
Brent in € per barrel 46.0 –7.1 –11.7 10.4
Gasoline €/L 0.371 –7.6 –3.7 1.2
Gas Oil 411.3 –8.0 –11.4 9.6
Heavy fuel 298.0 –0.1 –6.0 38.6
Naphtha 392.0 –11.6 –16.6 12.1
  • Prices are in euros per tonne unless otherwise specified
  • Source : INSEE

Industrial commodity prices continued to fall

In May 2017, the prices in euros of industrial raw materials declined for the third month in a row (−6.0% after −3.6% in April and −1.4% in March). However, they remained superior to their last year level (+14.4%). Over the month, minerals prices decreased sharply again (−6.4% after −5.2%). The prices of precious metals fell back steeply (−6.0% after +2.3%). The prices of all non-ferrous metals decreased again in May (−4.1% overall after −1.3%), due to concerns about the strenght of the Chinese recovery. The prices of agro-industrial raw material fell back (−4.4% after +2.8%), primarily due to the price of sawn softwood (−7.3% after +12.6%). The price of tropical wood fell back too (−0.8% after +2.2%) as well as the price of wood pulp (−1.0% after +1.4%). The prices of natural fibers decreased more markedly than in April (−1.5% after −0.4%), as well as hide price (−11.2% after −3.1%). However, the price of rubber decreased less strongly than in the previous month (−8.7% after −15.5%).

Food commodity prices decreased less sharply

In euros, the prices of raw food materials decreased less sharply in May (−1.2% after −3.0%). The prices of oil seeds and vegetable oils declined less markedly (−1.0% after −4.3%) as well as those of tropical foodstuffs (−3.7% after −4.1%) and those of sugar (−6.8% after −9.8%). Furthermore, the prices of cereals increased again (+1.4% after +0.8% ) as well as the price of beef meat (+1.8% after +1.6%).

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 202.1 –1.2 –6.9 –6.1
Tropical foodstuffs 171.9 –3.7 –8.7 –14.7
Oil seeds, vegetable oils 227.2 –1.0 –9.2 –8.5
Cereals 156.2 1.4 0.9 –1.7
Sugar 158.9 –6.8 –26.0 –3.9
Beef meat 167.0 1.8 4.3 10.8
Industrial raw materials 171.1 –6.0 –10.6 14.4
Agricultural raw materials 129.2 –4.4 –4.7 14.5
Natural Fibres 153.8 –1.5 0.0 28.3
Natural rubber 150.8 –8.7 –31.5 7.3
Hides 71.1 –11.2 –12.8 –2.5
Wood pulp 105.1 –1.0 1.1 10.2
Tropical wood 97.5 –0.8 –0.3 –9.0
Sawn softwood 126.4 –7.3 –0.4 24.8
Minerals 194.3 –6.4 –12.1 14.3
Iron ore 414.4 –15.2 –33.2 15.3
Non-ferrous metals 161.3 –4.1 –5.8 14.8
Precious metals 244.2 –6.0 –5.7 4.6
All commodities 177.3 –4.3 –9.3 6.1
  • Source : INSEE

Graph3 – Food

  • Source : INSEE

Graph2 – Imported raw materials (excluding energy)

  • Source : INSEE

Graph4 – Industrial raw materials

  • Source : INSEE