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Published: 13 March 2018

Prices of imported fuels rose in the last quarter of 2017

According to Statistics Finland's data, prices of imported fuels continued rising in the last quarter of 2017. This was particularly visible as price increases for hard coal and natural gas.

Fuel prices in electricity production

Fuel prices in electricity production

The price of motor gasoline was in December 2017 at the same level as in the year before and the price of diesel oil was one per cent lower than a year earlier. The price of light fuel oil rose in December by four per cent from twelve months back.

The price of hard coal rose clearly at the end of 2016 but in 2017, the price rise halted and turned to a decline at times. In the last quarter of 2017, the price of hard coal rose back to the level at the turn of the previous year. The tax-free price of hard coal used in electricity production was in December two per cent higher than one year ago in December. The price of natural gas also started growing moderately in the last quarter of the year. The tax-free price of natural gas used in electricity production was 10 per cent higher in December than one year previously.

Compared with the situation one year earlier, the taxable price of hard coal used in heat production went up in December by five per cent and that of natural gas by nine per cent. The taxable prices of hard coal and natural gas used in heat production were raised by the increase in excise duties and tax-free prices at the beginning of the year. However, changes in tax-free prices influence taxable prices increasingly less due to the growing share of taxes in the prices of these fuels in the past few years. In the last quarter, the taxable price of milled peat declined by three per cent and the price of forest chippings fell by one per cent from the respective period of the previous year.

The system price of the Nordic electricity exchange derived from the sell and buy bids on the exchange went down in the fourth quarter. This was due to the better availability of hydro power in the Nordic countries than in the previous year. In December 2017, the average of the system price was three per cent lower than one year previously. Due to electricity transmission restrictions, the Finnish area price was, on average, three per cent higher in December than the system price, falling by six per cent from one year ago.

In December, the prices of electricity for household customers were, on average, five per cent higher than one year earlier. The prices for enterprise and corporate customers fell by three per cent for the smallest consumers and by nine per cent for the biggest consumers. Household customers’ electricity prices are based on obligation to deliver prices published by the Energy Authority, while the price of enterprise and corporate customers are based on Statistics Finland's price inquiry on electrical energy. The obligation to deliver price reacts more slowly to changes in electricity prices on the Nordic electricity exchange.

Source: Statistics Finland, Energy prices

Inquiries: Bate Ismail 029 551 2471,

Director in charge: Ville Vertanen

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Updated 13.3.2018

Referencing instructions:

Statistics: Energy prices [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-800X. 4th quarter 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 29.9.2023].
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