Important raw material prices
Price trends for crude oil (Brent blend) and naphtha ($/barrel, $/metric ton)Enlarge image
At an annual average of around $109 per barrel in 2013, the crude oil price of Brent blend was just under the previous year’s level ($112 per barrel). The oil price fluctuated over the course of the year between $116 per barrel in February and $103 per barrel in May and June. The springtime’s comparatively high price level was primarily attributable to political conflicts in the Middle East.
Average monthly prices for the chemical raw material naphtha ranged over the course of 2013 between $985 per metric ton in February and $820 per metric ton in April. The average annual price of naphtha in 2013 was $902 per metric ton, slightly below the prior-year level ($937 per metric ton).
At $3.73 per mmbtu, the average price of gas in the United States was above the very low 2012 level ($2.75 per mmbtu). The price of gas in the European Union remained substantially higher on average, at around $11.80 per mmbtu. In China, government-stipulated wholesale gas prices for industrial consumers were raised by around 15% in the middle of the year to a national average of around $8.40 per mmbtu. In China’s coastal regions, the price of gas was even between $10 and $12 per mmbtu.