In April 2015, retail prices of Dutch manufactured products were 6.1 down percent from April 2014. In March this year, prices were 6.9 percent below the level of twelve months previously. Prices of manufactured products are seriously affected by oil prices. If oil price developments are not taken into account, manufacturing prices were 3.1 percent lower, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
Oil prices still low
In April, oil prices were again lower than in April 2014, but the price drop is less substantial than in the preceding four months. A barrel of North Sea Brent oil cost almost 57 euros, i.e. 27 percent below its April 2014 level. In March, year-on-year oil prices had dropped by 33 percent.
Petroleum derivatives were more than 22 percent cheaper in April 2015 than in April 2014. In March, the year-on-year price drop was more than 24 percent. Evidently, prices in this sector are seriously affected by crude oil prices.
Prices of chemical products were 9.6 percent down from twelve months earlier. In chemical industry, retail prices are also affected by crude oil prices. Food, drinks and tobacco products were nearly 5 percent below the level of one year previously. This is partly due to a price drop in dairy products caused by the lifting of the milk quota scheme on 1 April. Prices of rubber and plastic products were also marginally down.
Prices of (basic) metal products and machinery and car parts, on the other hand, were marginally up from twelve months ago. Altogether, the eight sectors referred to in the above text and the corresponding graph account for nearly 80 percent of Dutch manufacturing output.
Prices manufactured products in April more than 1 percent up from March
In April 2015, retail prices of manufactured products rose by 1.3 percent on March 2015. Prices on the domestic market rose by 0.8 percent, prices on the foreign market by 1.7 percent. Over the past three months, oil prices (in euros) were again higher than in the previous month, but they are still distinctly below the level recorded one year previously.
For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.