U.S. import prices fell 0.5% while export prices decreased 1.1% in February 2020

March 13, 2020

February’s import prices fell 0.5%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics after rising 0.1% the previous month. This decline was mostly attributable to the falling prices in fuel imports which more than offset the higher prices in non-fuel imports. Nonetheless, export prices decreased 1.1% in February relative to a 0.6% increase the previous month.

Prices for import fuel declined 7.7% in February. In February, the decrease was attributable to lower prices for petroleum and falling prices for natural gas. Furthermore, the price index for import fuel over the past year fell 5.8%. On the other hand, prices for nonfuel imports rose 0.3% in February. According to BLS, “Higher prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; foods, feeds, and beverages; and capital goods all contributed to the February advance.”

Export prices for the U.S. declined 1.1% in February. This drop was attributable to falling prices for both agricultural and non-agricultural exports. Agricultural exports price index decreased 2.7% in February, after rising 2.1% in January. The decrease was traced back to lower prices for vegetables, soybeans, and meat in February which more than offset higher fruit prices. Over the past year, prices for agricultural exports rose 0.2%. Whereas, non-agricultural export prices fell 1.0% in February, following an increase of 0.6% in January. Lower prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials led the February decrease in non-agricultural export prices. Moreover, prices for non-agricultural exports fell 1.6% from February 2019 to February 2020.

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