U.S. import prices fall 0.9% while export prices slide 0.7%

Date: July 16, 2019

June’s import prices declined 0.9%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics latest report released. This decease was mostly attributable to the falling prices for both fuel and nonfuel imports. Nonetheless, export prices fell 0.7% in June relative to a 0.2% decrease the previous month.

Prices for import fuel dropped 6.5% in June relative to a 2.3% rise the month before. This movement was attributable to a 6.2% decline in petroleum and 21% contraction for natural gas prices in June. Nonetheless, non-fuel import prices declined 0.3% for the second consecutive month in June. According to BLS, “lower prices for foods, feeds, and beverages; nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; capital goods; and consumer goods more than offset rising prices for automotive vehicles.”

Export prices declined 0.7 % in June, after decreasing 0.2% in May. The price index for overall exports fell 1.6% for the year ended in June, the largest 12-month decline since the index declined 2.4% from August 2015 to August 2016. Prices for agricultural exports rose 2.7% (June 2019) subsequent to a 1.1% decline in the prior month. The movement was attributed to a 13.5% rise in corn prices and a 5% increase in soybean prices; higher fruit, wheat, and nut prices also contributed to the overall rise in agricultural prices. All exports excluding agriculture fell 1.1% in June due to lower prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials more than offset higher prices for capital goods and consumer goods. Non-agricultural prices declined 1.6% over the past year, the largest 12-month drop since the index fell 2.3% for the year ended in August 2016. The decrease over the past 12 months was led by lower prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials.

BLS reported that, “import air passenger fares increased 6.7% in June, after advancing 6.9% in May. A 7.3% advance in European fares and a 9.7% rise in Asian fares were the primary contributors to the June increase in overall air passenger fares.” Moreover, “export air passenger fares rose 4.0% following a 0.7% increase the previous month. The June advance was the largest monthly rise since a 7.0-percent increase in January, and was led by higher Asian, European, and Latin American/Caribbean fares.”

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