Press release

HWWI Consult GmbH

HWWI Raw Materials Price Index falls significantly in January

Prices for energy sources coal and gas decrease sharply

  • HWWI Raw Materials Price Index declines 19.7% (US dollar basis)
  • Sub-index for natural gas falls by 47.6%
  • Sub-index for coal falls by 12.0%

(Hamburg, February 6, 2023) In January, the HWWI Raw Materials Price Index fell sharply (-19.7%) after rising slightly in the previous month. Although there were still moderate increases in the sub-index for food and beverages (+1.6%) and the sub-index for industrial raw materials (+3.5%), the sharp fall in coal prices (-12%) and the almost halving of the price of natural gas (-47.6%) caused the overall index to fall significantly.


Index for energy raw materials: sharply falling prices for natural gas and coal, slight increase in the index for crude oil

The sub-index for natural gas fell by 47.6% in January and was thus 24.4% below the value for January 2022. As in the previous month, record production in the USA, well-filled storage levels and the comparatively mild weather in Europe are providing relief on the gas markets. The gas supply is considered stable. Experts no longer expect supply problems across the board this winter.

The sub-index for coal also fell by 12.0% in January, but was still 59.5% higher than in the same month last year.

In contrast to the previous months, the sub-index for crude oil rose again slightly (+3.4%) and at the same time was 3.4% below the value of January 2022.

Overall, the energy raw materials sub-index fell by 22.9% (euro basis: -24.3%) to 262.1 points (euro basis: 278.8 points) in January.


No uniform trend in industrial commodities: rising prices for metals and iron ore, agricultural commodities continue to weaken

There were no significant changes in the price index for industrial raw materials in January. The Industrial Raw Materials Index was 3.5% higher in January than in the previous month and 19.7% lower than in January 2022. The relatively eased situation that has prevailed for several months continued at the beginning of the year. However, the sub-indices developed differently. The sub-index for agricultural commodities fell (-1.8 %), while the sub-index for non-ferrous metals rose (+4.7%). Notable in this segment is the tin price, which, as in the previous month, again rose by double digits (+16.6%). The tin market showed great volatility over the course of 2022, but the stable demand of recent months has caused the price to rise since October

The sub-index for iron ore and steel scrap (+6.2%) also rose. An important cause of the rising price trend for iron ore is the development in China, which continues to be the world’s largest importer of iron ore. The hope that the Chinese economy will recover in the near future is driving prices up. In addition, economic policy measures to support the Chinese construction industry are already increasing demand.

Overall, the Industrial Raw Materials Index rose by an average of 3.5% (euro basis: +1.7%) to 126.4 points (euro basis: 134.2) in January.


Index for food and beverages continues to fall slightly

There was only a modest change in the sub-index for food and beverages. It rose by 1.6% in January and was thus 0.3% higher than in the same month of the previous year. Grain prices rose by 1.2% compared to the previous month, and prices for oilseeds and oils by 3.0 %. Prices for luxury foodstuffs remained almost unchanged in January (+0.5%).

Overall, the index for food, beverages and tobacco rose by an average of 2.3% for the month
(euro basis: 1.5%) and stood at 155.5 points (euro basis: 180.9 points).


Public Relations

Elzbieta Hagemann

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.