Important Raw Material Price Developments

  • Higher prices for crude oil and naphtha
  • Year-on-year increase in gas prices, but with wide regional variance

Averaging around $71 per barrel in 2018, the oil price for Brent crude rose by about 30% compared with the previous year ($54 per barrel). The average monthly oil price fluctuated over the course of the year between $81 per barrel in October and $56 per barrel in December.

The average monthly price for the chemical raw material naphtha ranged over the course of 2018 between $463 per metric ton in December and $676 per metric ton in September. At $602 per metric ton, the annualized average price of naphtha in 2018 was higher than in 2017 ($485 per metric ton).

The average price of gas in the United States was $3.16 per mmBtu, above the level of the previous year ($2.97 per mmBtu). In Europe, the average price of gas at the Title Transfer Facility (TTF) was significantly higher than in 2017, at $7.90 per mmBtu (2017: $5.71 per mmBtu). Gas prices in China averaged around $6.38 per mmBtu nationally (2017: $6.24 per mmBtu), while the average price in the coastal provinces of Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong and Guangdong was $7.59 per mmBtu (2017: $7.43 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)