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Latest publication: Energy prices 2020, 4th quarter

Published: 11 June 2020

Fall in market prices of electricity and crude oil is already visible in consumer prices

The market price of electricity and crude oil fell strongly during the first quarter of the year. The consumer prices of oil products fell, the price of light fuel oil by nearly one quarter. The rise in the consumer prices of electricity also levelled off and the electricity prices of enterprises using much electricity made a downturn.

Fuel Prices in Electricity Production

Fuel Prices in Electricity Production

The world market price of crude oil started to fall in the early part of the year as the corona pandemic weakened the demand for oil. In March, the barrel price collapsed from good USD 50 to around USD 20. At the beginning of March, Saudi Arabia increased oil production as the cooperation talks between the OPEC and Russia came to an end without results. The fall in world market prices was visible in the consumer prices of oil products. The price of motor gasoline was three per cent lower and that of diesel oil ten per cent lower than one year earlier. The corresponding drop in the price of light fuel oil was 23 per cent.

As other energy taxation, the taxation of liquid fuels has remained unchanged, but the strong fall in market prices raised the share of taxes in the prices of oil products. The share of taxes in the price of motor gasoline and diesel rose by good three percentage points from December 2019 to March. Taxes accounted for nearly 52 percentage points of the price of light fuel oil in March when compared with just short of 45 percentage points in December.

The tax-free price of hard coal made a downturn in summer 2019 and the fall has continued in the first quarter of 2020. In the first quarter of the year, the tax-free price of coal was around 30 per cent lower than one year previously. The Balticconnector pipeline was launched for commercial use at the beginning of 2020. At the same time, Finland's gas market was liberalised. So far, data concerning the price development of gas are uncertain and no data specific for customer groups are available.

The rise in the prices of domestic fuels continued in the first quarter of the current year as well. The price of forest chippings was six per cent higher than one year ago, that of milled peat around one per cent. The rise in the price of peat appears to be levelling off, as the price of peat stayed at the same level with the previous quarter.

The system price of the Nordic electricity exchange derived from the sell and buy bids on the exchange declined exceptionally much during spring. The system price was last this low in 1998 and 1999. Windy and rainy weather has increased the production of low-cost hydro and wind power. At the same time, demand for electricity has been lower than usual due to the warm winter both in Finland and in the other Nordic countries. Due to the limited transmission capacity, the area price for Finland is clearly higher than the system price. However, the price has halved from the previous year.

As the market prices of electricity fell, the rise in the prices of electricity for all household and business customers levelled off and the electricity prices of enterprises using much electricity made a downturn. These data derive from Statistics Finland’s Price inquiry on electrical energy.


Source: Statistics Finland, Energy prices

Inquiries: Virve Rouhiainen 029 551 3527, energia@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jan Nokkala

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Updated 11.06.2020

Referencing instructions:

Statistics: Energy prices [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-800X. 1st quarter 2020. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 10.4.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ehi/2020/01/ehi_2020_01_2020-06-11_tie_001_en.html