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Published: 10 June 2021

Energy prices rose in the first quarter

The rise in energy prices that started at the end of last year continued in the first quarter. The rise was affected by higher prices of imported fuels and larger demand for heating fuels and tax increases. Prices on the Nordic electricity exchange returned from the drop in 2020.

Fuel prices in heat production

Fuel prices in heat production

The prices of oil products imported to Finland rose in the first quarter. In spring 2020, the world market price of crude oil fell sharply as the corona pandemic reduced demand and no agreement was reached on the adjustment of production. When the agreement was reached the prices rose rapidly and stabilised for the summer. The prices started to rise again in late autumn 2020. In March 2021, the import price of crude oil was at its highest since February 2019.

The rise in import prices of oil has been reflected in rising consumer prices of liquid fuels. The consumer price of motor gasoline was eight per cent higher and that of diesel oil five per cent higher in March than one year earlier. These were also affected by the tax increases that took effect in August last year. The price of light fuel oil went up by seven per cent in the corresponding period.

The import price of hard coal continued to grow in the first quarter. In March the rise was particularly big and the tax-free price was over double that of the previous year. The excise duty on hard coal was raised at the turn of the year and the price including excise duty correspondingly rose by 27 per cent.

As a result of the deregulation of the Finnish gas market, sufficiently certain data were not available on the development of the price of natural gas in 2020. The first price data of the data collection started by Statistics Finland are published in connection with this release.

Among domestic fuels, the rise in the price of forest chippings continued in the first quarter. Compared with the first quarter of the year before, the price was five per cent higher. Due to the delay in collecting prices of energy peat, prices for the first quarter were not yet available at the time of writing the release.

The customer prices of district heat were good one per cent higher in January than in the corresponding period last year.

Prices rose clearly on the Nordic electricity market in the first quarter. The rise is explained by the exceptionally low prices in 2020, from which prices came back close to the average for recent years. The system price of the Nordic electricity exchange derived from the sell and buy bids on the exchange was nearly four times higher in March and the area price for Finland nearly double compared with the price of last year's March.  

The rise in electricity market prices was also visible in the one to three per cent rise in consumer prices of electricity in the first quarter depending on the customer group. Correspondingly, prices fell for enterprise customers in the smallest consumption groups but rose clearly for the largest customers. Household customers’ electricity prices are based on the obligation to deliver prices published by the Energy Authority, while the prices of enterprise and corporate customers are based on Statistics Finland's price inquiry on electrical energy. The obligation to deliver price reacts slowly to changes in electricity prices on the Nordic electricity exchange.   

Source: Statistics Finland, Energy prices

Inquiries: Ville Maljanen 029 551 2691,

Head of Department in charge: Katri Kaaja

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Updated 10.06.2021

Referencing instructions:

Statistics: Energy prices [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-800X. 1st quarter 2021. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 25.7.2024].
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