U.S. import prices rose 0.2% while export prices slid 0.2%

October 11, 2019

September’s import prices rose 0.2%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics after declining 0.2% the previous month. This advance was mostly attributable to the higher prices in fuel imports and nonfuel goods which declined 0.1%. Nonetheless, export prices fell 0.2% in September relative to a 0.6% decrease the previous month.

Prices for import fuel rose 4.3% in September, relative to a 0.2% fall the month before. In September, higher petroleum prices more than tempered lower prices for natural gas. The price index for import petroleum rose 2.3%, after decreasing 2.3% the previous month. Prices for nonfuel imports declined 0.1% in September. Furthermore, according to BLS, “Foods, feeds, and beverages prices declined 0.8%; in contrast, nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices rose 0.5%. The price index for nonfuel imports declined 1.1% over the past 12 months, led by price decreases for capital goods and nonfuel industrial supplies and materials.”

Exports prices declined 0.2% in September, after a 0.6% decrease the previous month. The drop was attributable to price decreases for both agricultural and non-agricultural exports. Agricultural exports price index declined 1.8% in September, after falling 2.3% in August. The decline was traced back to lower prices for corn, meat, wheat, and soybeans. Despite the monthly drop, prices for agricultural exports rose 0.2% over the past year. Non-agricultural export prices fell 0.1% in September following a 0.3% fall in August. Prices for nonagricultural exports fell 1.9% from September 2018 to September 2019; lower prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials more than offset price increases for capital goods, consumer goods, and automotive vehicles over the 12-month period.


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