Baisse du dollar et hausse du pétrole : quelle relation  ?

CAMBRIDGE – L'explosion du prix du pétrole et la chute du dollar sont parmi les deux événements les plus importants de l'année passée. Le prix de pétrole a augmenté de 85% au cours des 12 derniers mois, passant de 65 à 120 dollars le baril. Pendant la même période, le dollar a baissé de 15% par rapport à l'euro et de 12% par rapport au yen. Pour beaucoup d'observateurs, la simultanéité de la chute du dollar et de la flambée du prix du pétrole n'est pas fortuit.

Mais quel est le lien entre les deux ? La hausse du prix du pétrole aurait-elle été moindre si son prix était fixé en  euro et non en dollar ? La chute du dollar a-t-elle entraîné la hausse du prix du pétrole ? Quelles sont les conséquences de la hausse du prix du pétrole sur le dollar ?

Le marché pétrolier étant mondial, avec des prix virtuellement identiques partout, le prix du pétrole traduit à la fois la demande mondiale et l'ensemble de l'offre des pays producteurs. L'essentiel de la demande concerne le transport, suivi par le chauffage, l'énergie et l'industrie pétrochimie (les plastiques par exemple). L'augmentation de la demande internationale - notamment des pays émergeants à taux de croissance important comme la Chine et l'Inde - est et va continuer à être un facteur important qui pousse à la hausse le prix du pétrole sur le marché mondial.

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