Higher crude oil and output prices
In March this year, the price of a barrel of North Sea Brent oil was 49 euros, i.e. 38 percent up from the price level recorded in March 2016. In February, the price increase was 74 percent on a year-on-year basis. Prices of petroleum derivatives are directly affected by crude oil price developments.
Year-on-year, the price increase was nearly 40 percent in March, versus nearly 63 percent in February.
Prices of chemical products were more than 19 percent higher on an annual basis. In the chemical industry, too, prices are affected by crude oil price developments. Prices in the basic metal industry rose by more than15 percent, due to the growing demand for basic metals and relatively low stock levels.
Prices of food, metal, rubber and plastic products and prices in the automotive industry were also higher than one year ago. This is partly due to higher prices for agricultural raw materials and metals. Prices of machinery, on the other hand, were below the level of twelve months previously.
Altogether, the eight industries referred to in the above text and the corresponding graph account for 80 percent of total Dutch manufacturing industry.
Manufactured products somewhat cheaper in March than in February
Compared to February, prices of manufactured products in March were slightly down. Prices on the foreign market were about the same, prices on the domestic market declined by almost 0,5 percent, The crude oil price also fell in March compared to February.