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The Real Price of Imported Oil

The continual upward adjustment since 1973 in international quoted oil prices has been accompanied by two countervailing developments. The first is the weakening of the dollar against many national currencies. Since transactions in the international oil market are conducted in dollars, many countries were able to offer less of their national currency for each dollar of oil purchased. Second, sharply rising prices of all other goods and services in many oil-importing coun-tries diminished the impact of the relative rise in oil prices. Thus oil appeared as only one of a host of rising prices, perhaps rising more strongly than other prices but otherwise indistinguishable from a multitude of inflationary pressures. In other words, the real price of oil to importing countries may not have been rising as strongly in real terms as is suggested by price quotations from internationally traded crude oil. If this is the case, pressures for limiting oil imports and oil conservation generally would be weakened.

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Energy Specializations: Petroleum – Markets and Prices for Crude Oil and Products; Petroleum – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes:
L13 - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General

Keywords: Imported oil, Real price, US

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol1-No3-6

Published in Volume 1, Number 3 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.