In December, the increase in oil prices lessenedPrices of oil and raw material imports - December 2017

In December 2017, the price of crude oil in euros eased (+1.8% during the month, after +9.0% in November). The prices in euros of all other imported commodities decreased (−0.7% after +1.0%). As a matter of fact, the prices of raw food materials fell back (−3.2% after +0.1%) and those of industrial raw materials increased again (+1.8% after +2.0%).

Warning: the imported raw materials index has been upgraded. The basket of goods has been expanded, weights re-estimated, and the index has been rebased in 2010. For further details, please refer to the methodology note.

In December 2017, the price of crude oil in euros eased (+1.8% during the month, after +9.0% in November). The prices in euros of all other imported commodities decreased (−0.7% after +1.0%). As a matter of fact, the prices of raw food materials fell back (−3.2% after +0.1%) and those of industrial raw materials increased again (+1.8% after +2.0%).

Oil price eased

In December 2017, the price of North Sea crude oil (Brent) in euros slowed down (+1.8% after +9.0% in August) to an average of €54 per barrel. In dollars, the rise was more marked in December (+2.7% after +8.9%), because the euro slightly 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 64.4 2.7 16.1 17.2
Brent in € per barrel 54.4 1.8 16.8 4.3
Gasoline cts €/L 39.1 –5.1 –5.0 –4.4
Gas Oil 481.4 0.9 7.9 4.8
Heavy fuel 319.8 –0.9 10.5 1.6
Naphtha 483.4 –0.9 15.5 10.5
  • Prices are in euros per tonne unless otherwise specified
  • Source : INSEE

Food commodity prices fell back

In euros, the prices of raw food materials fell back (−3.2% after +0.1%). The price of sugar plummeted (−4.5% after +5.4%). The prices of cereals slipped back (−0.7% after +0.1%) as those of oil seeds and vegetable oils fell back even more (−2.5% after +0.7%), because of palm oil prices suffering from weak demand and high stock levels. The prices of seafood products kept decreasing (−6.2% after −3.3%) as well as those of tropical foodstuffs (−6.2% after −1.7%). The price of all meats slowed down (+1.8 % after +5.2%).

Graph3 – Food

  • Source: INSEE

Industrial commodity prices increased again

In December 2017, the prices in euros of industrial raw materials increased again (+1.8% after +2.0%). The prices of minerals ramped up (+2.3% after +1.3%), largely due to rising prices in ferrous metals (+11.3% after +4.1%). The prices of precious metals slipped back (−3.2% after +0.9%) because of the decrease in silver prices (−5.8% after +0.6%). The prices of non-ferrous metals kept falling back (−2.1% after −0.2%). The prices of agro-industrial raw materials were virtually stable (−0.1% after +5.0%). Those of natural fibres increased again (+3.9% after +3.4%), as those of hides (+3.9% after +0.9%) and those of tropical wood (+0.5% after +0.3%). The price of natural rubber recovered (+1.3% after −1.7%) whereas wood pulp prices slowed down (+2.8% after +4.5%). Only the price of sawn softwood plummeted (−6.1% after +9.3%).

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 115.8 –3.2 –2.7 –16.1
Tropical foodstuffs 91.5 –6.2 –7.3 –22.4
Oil seeds, vegetable oils 109.8 –2.5 –0.9 –12.8
Cereals 89.6 –0.7 –0.4 –7.1
Sugar 72.7 –4.5 4.2 –33.4
Meat 145.9 1.8 4.4 –3.1
Seafood products 112.6 –6.2 –7.6 –22.7
Industrial raw materials 88.7 1.8 2.4 –4.9
Agricultural raw materials 115.7 –0.1 8.5 3.0
Natural Fibres 97.7 3.9 6.6 –1.4
Natural rubber 48.5 1.3 –8.5 –32.6
Hides 80.6 3.9 5.5 –24.3
Wood pulp 119.4 2.8 11.1 9.4
Tropical wood 96.3 0.5 1.4 –4.4
Sawn softwood 202.5 –6.1 12.1 28.5
Minerals 83.3 2.3 1.1 –6.4
Ferrous metals 57.1 11.3 1.5 –19.2
Non-ferrous metals 104.8 –2.1 1.2 5.1
Precious metals 104.5 –3.2 –3.4 –3.9
All commodities 100.9 –0.7 –0.1 –10.9
  • Source: INSEE

Graph2 – Imported raw materials (excluding energy)

  • Source: INSEE

Graph4 – Industrial raw materials

  • Source: INSEE