Important raw material price developments

  • Prices continue to fall for crude oil and naphtha
  • Gas prices below previous year’s level, but with wide regional variance

Averaging around $44 per barrel in 2016, the price of Brent blend crude oil dropped by about 15% compared with the previous year ($52 per barrel). The oil price fluctuated over the course of the year between $31 per barrel in January and $54 per barrel in December.

The average monthly price for the chemical raw material naphtha ranged over the course of 2016 between $293 per metric ton in February and $462 per metric ton in December. At $385 per metric ton, the annualized average price of naphtha in 2016 was below the level of 2015 ($462 per metric ton).

The average price of gas in the United States was $2.49 per mmBtu, under the previous year’s level ($2.61 per mmBtu). In Europe, the average price of gas on spot markets remained substantially higher, at $4.58 per mmBtu (2015: $6.49 per mmBtu). Gas prices in China averaged around $6.54 per mmBtu nationally (2015: $9.81 per mmBtu), while the average price in the coastal regions was $7.72 per mmBtu (2015: $11.20 per mmBtu).

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

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