Korea producer prices in Feb slide as coronavirus weakens demand

2020.03.20 11:20:02 | 2020.03.20 13:29:33

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South Korea’s producer prices in February fell from a month ago as the coronavirus outbreak aggravated oil prices and domestic demand.

The producer price index in February was 103.74, down 0.3 percent from the previous month after two straight months of gains, according to the Bank of Korea on Friday. Against a year earlier, it was up 0.7 percent.

COVID-19, which originated in China, began to spread fast in Korea from February, crippling travel and services demand.

The price index for agricultural, livestock and fishery products fell 3.1 percent on month due to weakened demand. The index for agricultural goods dropped 5.8 percent on month, with the livestock index down 1.5 percent.

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Falling oil prices also knocked 0.5 percent off industrial product prices. Prices of coal and petroleum goods plummeted 7.2 percent, and chemical goods slid 0.4 percent.

Prices of memory chips rebounded after a year-long slump. DRAM memory producer prices were up 2.8 percent and flash memory 10.7 percent.

Service prices remained unchanged from the previous month, as the rise in real estate services offset the fall in restaurants and accommodations.

The virus devastated the travel industry, with prices of resort condominiums plunging 9.5 percent, hotels 3.8 percent and international air travel 2.9 percent.

Meanwhile, residential real estate management services rose 4.8 percent.

By Kim Hyo-jin

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