Important raw material price developments

  • Prices continue to fall for crude oil and naphtha
  • Gas prices below previous year’s level

At an average of around $52 per barrel in 2015, the price of Brent blend crude oil dropped by 47% compared with the previous year ($99 per barrel). The oil price fluctuated over the course of the year between $64 per barrel in May and $38 per barrel in December.

Average monthly prices for the chemical raw material naphtha ranged over the course of 2015 between $551 per metric ton in May and $387 per metric ton in December. At $462 per metric ton, the annualized average price of naphtha in 2015 was below the level of 2014 ($837 per metric ton).

The average price of gas in the United States was $2.61 per mmBtu, below the level of the previous year ($4.37 per mmBtu). In Europe, the average price of gas on spot markets remained substantially higher, at $6.49 per mmBtu (2014: $8.21 per mmBtu).2 Gas prices in China were around $9.81 per mmBtu on national average, while the average price in the coastal regions was $11.20 per mmBtu.

2 As opposed to the prior year’s reports, European gas prices on the spot market are reported here, as they are meanwhile more representative of the actual traded gas volumes than the previously referenced European gas import prices. According to the definition used previously, the price of European gas imports was $7.3 per mmBtu in 2015 (2014: $10.1 mmBtu).

Price trends for crude oil (Brent blend) and naphtha ($/barrel, $/metric ton)

Price trends for crude oil (Brent blend) and naphtha (line chart)