[Photo by MK DB]
Import prices in South Korea rose for the first time in four months in February due to an increase in oil prices and the U.S. dollar’s rise against the Korean won, according to data released by the Bank of Korea on Tuesday.
The import price index rose to 138.03 in February, up by 2.1 percent from 135.20 in January, following four consecutive months of declines.
By product, mining products which include crude oil in their raw materials, agriculture, forestry and fisheries products, coal and petroleum products, and chemicals saw large increases compared to January.
Specific items with significant import price increases included crude oil, coffee, naphtha, propane and butadiene.
In February, the price of Dubai crude rose by 2.1 percent on average to $82.11 per barrel from the previous month. The average won/dollar exchange rate also rose by 1.9 percent to 1,270.74 won compared to the previous month.
However, the actual import price, which limits the exchange rate effect, rose by only 0.4 percent compared to the previous month.
Compared to the same month last year, the import price index fell by 0.5 percent due to the base effect of the sharp increase in oil prices. This is the first time in 24 months that the import price index has fallen compared to a year ago since February 2021.
Meanwhile, the export price index rose by 0.7 percent to 115.17 compared to January. Despite the weak prices of chip products, the export price index rose for the first time in four months due to the increase in the won/dollar exchange rate.
However, the actual export price, which limits the exchange rate effect, fell by 1.0 percent compared to the previous month. Specifically, agricultural and fishery products, coal and petroleum products fell, while chemicals, transportation equipment, and primary metal products helped drive up export prices.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]