(Hamburg, January 18, 2023) In December, the HWWI Raw Material Price Index rose marginally overall (2.6%), after declining slightly in the previous month. The sub-indices for energy raw materials (+2.8%) and the index for Industrial raw materials (+3.2%) rose, while the index for food and beverages declined moderately.
The sub-index for natural gas increased by 11.9% in December and was 18.9% higher than the previous year’s value in December 2021. However, an uneven development was observed: while the US price for natural gas decreased (-10.8%), the EU price increased (+18.6%) compared to the previous month.
The sub-index for coal also rose by 14.2% in December and was significantly higher than in the same month of the previous year with a difference of 128.3%. The reason for the continued high price of coal is most likely the increased demand in connection with the gas crisis triggered by the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine. Floods in Australia have further tightened supply.
The sub-index for crude oil continued to decline. It fell by a further 9.5% compared to the previous month and was thus only 6.9% above the index value of December 2021. Poor economic data from China, increased stocks in the USA and price reductions from Saudi Arabia are cited as reasons for the falling price. Looking ahead to 2023, however, various observers expect renewed increases.
Overall, the energy raw materials sub-index increased by 2.8% (euro basis: -1.0%) to 340 points (euro basis: 368.4 points) in December.
The more eased situation in prices for industrial raw materials that has been observed for several months compared to the beginning of the year essentially continued in December. However, the sub-indices (agricultural raw materials, non-ferrous metals as well as iron ore and steel scrap) developed differently.
Overall, the sub-index for industrial raw materials was 15.7% below the previous year’s value in December 2021.
A decrease (-5.1%) was recorded for agricultural commodities.
The price index for non-ferrous metals rose by 4.8% in December.
The price index for iron ore and steel scrap rose by 9% after falling by 8.7% in the previous month. The sub-index was 25.3% lower than in December 2021. One reason for rising prices could be hopes of a rebound in the Chinese economy. China is the world’s largest importer of iron ore.
Overall, the Industrial raw materials index rose by an average of 3.2% (euro basis: -0.6%) to 122.1 points (euro basis: 131.9) in December.
The sub-index for food and beverages fell again slightly by 1% in December. It was thus only 0.8% higher than the corresponding figure for December 2021.
Overall, the index for food and beverages fell by an average of 1% for the month (euro basis -4.7%) and stood at 151.8 points (euro basis: 163.8 points).
The HWWI Commodity Price Index is a comprehensive, weekly calculated indicator of price
developments in world commodity markets, which includes the major internationally traded commodities. Since 1960, the HWWI Commodity Price Index measures the price changes in the raw material import calculation of the industrialized countries and is thus an indicator for the cost development of imported raw materials and serves among other things central banks, research institutes and international institutions for their analyses.