South Korea’s import prices edge up

Seoul, May 10 (IANS) South Korea’s import prices edged up last month as the depreciation of the South Korean currency offset the effect from lower crude oil prices, central bank data showed Friday.

In local currency terms, import prices rose 0.1 percent in April from a month earlier after falling 0.8 percent in the prior month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The rebound came after the South Korean won depreciated 1.8 percent against the US dollar in April from the previous month. The weak currency raises prices of products imported from overseas, reported Xinhua.

From a year earlier, the import prices dropped 9.7 percent last month, keeping its downward trend for the eighth consecutive month.

Falling oil prices contributed to lower import prices. Prices of Dubai crude, South Korea’s benchmark, averaged $101.69 a barrel in April, down 3.7 percent from a month ago.

Prices in raw materials imported from overseas increased 0.2 percent in April from a month earlier as a rise in mining products offset a fall in farm goods prices.

Prices for intermediate goods such as oil products declined 0.4 percent last month amid lower oil prices. Capital goods prices rose 1 percent, and consumer goods prices gained 1.3 percent.

In contract currency terms, import prices fell 1.4 percent in April from a month earlier after retreating 1.9 percent in the prior month.

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