Important Raw Material Price Developments

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

Averaging around $64 per barrel in 2019, the oil price for Brent crude declined by about 9% compared with the previous year ($71 per barrel). The average monthly oil price fluctuated over the course of the year between $71 per barrel in April and May and $59 per barrel in January and August.

Over the course of the year, the average monthly price for the chemical raw material naphtha ranged between $447 per metric ton in August and $563 per metric ton in April. At $505 per metric ton, the annualized average price of naphtha in 2019 was lower than in 2018 ($602 per metric ton).

The average price of gas in the United States was $2.56 per mmBtu, below the level of the previous year ($3.16 per mmBtu). In Europe, the average price of gas on the spot market was significantly lower than in 2018, at $4.46 per mmBtu (2018: $7.90 per mmBtu). Gas prices in China averaged around $6.39 per mmBtu nationally (2018: $6.38 per mmBtu), while the average price in the coastal provinces of Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong and Guangdong was $7.59 per mmBtu (2018: $7.59 per mmBtu).

Price trends for crude oil (Brent) and naphtha

$/barrel, $/metric ton

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