Crude oil down, basic metals up
The Producer Price Index (PPI) fell by 2.6 per cent from January to February, the first month of decline since July 2017.
Lower prices within the group extraction of crude oil and natural gas was the main reason behind the decline in the PPI total. Both prices of crude oil and natural gas fell in February. Crude prices fell for the first time since July 2017 and ended at around 65 US dollars per barrel. By comparison, the crude oil price was just under 70 dollars in January. This was, among other things, caused by positive figures from the US on oil production and inventories. Due to the lower oil price, prices of refined petroleum products decreased as well in the same period. Despite a sharp fall in prices of natural gas in February, the index of natural gas remained at a comparatively high level.
The electricity index, on the other hand, increased by 12 per cent in February. Higher demand due to cold weather in Northern Europe could explain the price increase.
Figure 1. Price indices. 2014=100
|Crude oil||Natural gas|
Continued price growth on basic metals
The development in basic metal prices has been characterized by an upward trend since the summer of 2016. From January to February, prices rose by a further 3.1 per cent. Increasing prices on iron and steel as well as several non-ferrous metals were important contributors. However, the price of aluminium, Norway’s most important export metal, fell from January to February.