Price Trends for Key Commodities
The Russian war against Ukraine and the associated tensions led to significant price increases on the international commodity markets and high price volatility.
Overall, oil demand grew at a slightly weaker rate than global GDP in 2022. The increase in travel in the advanced economies boosted demand for oil, while demand in China declined slightly due to continued travel restrictions and temporary lockdowns. Crude oil prices rose from $71 per barrel of Brent in 2021 to $101 per barrel in 2022 due to growth in demand for oil, war and sanctions-related constraints and an OPEC+ production cut agreed in October. The price of oil fluctuated over the course of the year between around $122 per barrel in June and around $81 per barrel in December. Over the course of the year, the average monthly price for the chemical raw material naphtha ranged between $1,012 per metric ton in March and $594 per metric ton in December. At $770 per metric ton, the annual average price of naphtha in 2022 was higher than in 2021 ($635 per metric ton).
Due to low gas storage levels in Europe at the end of the heating season in the second quarter of 2022 and the ongoing reduction in Russian gas supplies, gas prices on the Northwest European spot market rose sharply through August. At its peak, the monthly average price reached €235.94 per MWh ($69.84 per mmBtu) in August. The lowest monthly average price was €75.87 per MWh ($21.79 per mmBtu) in October. The annual average gas price in Northwest Europe in 2022 was €124.16 per MWh ($38.01 per mmBtu) (2021: €46.88 per MWh / $16.02 per mmBtu).
The average price of gas in the United States was $6.36 per mmBtu, likewise well above the prior-year level ($3.89 per mmBtu). Gas prices in China averaged around $12.21 per mmBtu nationally (2021: $11.96 per mmBtu).1
1 All information relating to past years in this section can deviate from the previous year’s report due to statistical revisions. Where available, calendar-adjusted macroeconomic growth rates are reported. Figures for 2022 not yet available in full are estimated.