In August 2015, output prices of products manufactured in the Netherlands were 8.1 percent down from August 2014. In July this year, prices were 5.9 percent below the level of twelve months previously. Prices of manufactured products are closely related to oil prices. If price developments in the petroleum industry are not taken into account, manufacturing prices were 3.4 percent lower, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
Oil prices further down
Since 2013, oil prices have almost continuously been down from one year previously. In August, the price drop was more substantial than in the preceding six months. The price of a barrel of North Sea Brent oil was 43 euros, i.e. 44 percent below the price level recorded in August 2014. In July, oil prices had dropped 35 percent on an annual basis.
Products of petroleum derivatives slumped 33.2 percent in August 2015 compared to August 2014. In July, year-on-year prices had dropped by 25.2 percent. Evidently, price developments in the petroleum industry are seriously affected by crude oil prices.
Prices of chemical products were 10.2 percent down from twelve months previously. In the chemical industry, selling prices are also affected by crude oil prices. Food product prices were 4.6 percent below the level of one year previously. This is partly due to lower prices for dairy products caused by the lifting of the milk quota scheme on 1 April. Prices of corn, rice and other agricultural products also fell. Basic metal products were also cheaper.
Year-on-year prices of machinery, cars, rubber and plastic products and metal products, on the other hand, were slightly higher.
Altogether, the eight industries referred to in the above text and the corresponding graph account for nearly 80 percent of total Dutch manufacturing industry.
Manufactured products cheaper in August than in July
In August 2015, selling prices of manufactured products fell by 2.8 percent relative to July 2015. Prices on the domestic market declined by 2 percent, prices on the foreign market by 3.4 percent. Early this year, selling prices were still rising, but in the past months prices they have fallen. This is predominantly caused by the oil price slump.
For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.