In March 2015, selling prices of Dutch manufactured products were down 6.9 percent on March 2014. In February 2015 prices were 8.8 percent lower than twelve months before. According to Statistics Netherlands, prices of manufactured products are seriously affected by oil prices. If price developments in the oil industry are not taken into account, manufacturing prices were 3.9 percent lower.
Oil prices still low
Oil prices in March were again lower than in March 2014, but the price drop is less substantial than in the previous three months. A barrel of North Sea Brent oil cost over 52 euros, i.e. 33 percent below its March 2014 level. In February, year-on-year oil prices had dropped by 35 percent.
Petroleum derivatives were more than 24 percent cheaper in March 2015 than in March 2014. This follows a February price drop of almost 28 percent. Prices in this sector are of course seriously affected by crude oil prices.
The prices of chemical products were down 11 percent on twelve months earlier. Selling prices in this sector are also affected by crude oil prices. Food, drinks and tobacco products were over 4 percent cheaper than one year previously. Prices of rubber, plastic and basic metal products were also marginally down.
On the other hand, metal products, machinery and car manufacturing were marginally more expensive than twelve months before. Together, the eight sectors referred to in this text and the corresponding graph account for nearly 80 percent of Dutch manufacturing output.
Manufactured products in March up by more than 1 percent on February
In March, selling prices of manufactured products increased by 1.2 percent on February 2015. Prices on the domestic and foreign market likewise rose by 1.2 percent. In the last two months, oil prices went up again on the previous month.
For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.