[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]
Import prices in South Korea rose for the sixth straight month in October, hitting the highest level in nearly nine years, amid a rise in crude oil and commodity prices, putting growing pressure on inflation.
According to data released by the Bank of Korea on Friday, the import price index grew 4.8 percent in October from a month earlier to 130.43, adding for six months in a row to hit the highest level since February 2013.
Against a year ago, the index jumped 35.8 percent, the fastest rise since 47.1 percent in October 2008.
Import prices of mining products gained 11.1 percent on month in October and coal and petroleum products 10.8 percent. The price of benchmark Dubai crude rose 12.4 percent from $72.63 to $81.61 per barrel in October from a month ago.
Choi Jin-man, head of price statistics at the BOK, said that import prices rose on a surge in international oil and raw materials prices.
Export prices in October also added 1.6 percent from September to 116.18 in October, maintaining a growth streak for the 11th straight month. Compared with a year earlier, prices jumped 25.3 percent.
Export prices of coal and petroleum products rose 12.3 percent on month in October, chemical products 2.2 percent, and primary metal items 1.9 percent while those of computers, electronic and optical devices fell 2.2 percent.
Choi from the BOK noted that prices of chips in particular declined 3.5 percent, marking the first decline this year.
By Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]