U.S. import, export prices up in November
December 15, 2011
Following declines in each of the previous three months, U.S. import prices rose 0.7 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. An upturn in fuel prices more than offset decreasing prices for nonfuel imports. Export prices ticked up 0.1 percent in November, after a 2.1 percent drop in October.
All Imports: Import prices rose 0.7 percent in November following declines of 0.5 percent, 0.1 percent, and 0.4 percent the three previous months. The November advance is the largest monthly increase since a 2.6 percent rise in April. Overall import prices increased 9.9 percent for the year ended in November, due primarily to higher prices for the first half of the period.
Fuel Imports: A 3.6 percent rise in import fuel prices drove the November increase in overall import prices. The November increase followed declines in five of the six previous months. Fuel prices rose 31.6 percent over the past 12 months despite declining 7.2 percent between April and October. Both petroleum and natural gas prices, up 3.6 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively, in November contributed to the increase in overall fuel prices. Petroleum prices increased 33.4 percent over the past year, while natural gas prices advanced 5.8 percent for the same period.
All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports declined 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month, the first monthly decreases since a 0.3 percent drop in July 2010. The November decrease was led by lower prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials imports as well as for imported foods, feeds, and beverages. In contrast, prices for each of the major finished goods categories edged up in November. Despite the recent declines, nonfuel prices advanced 3.8 percent for the year ended in November, led by an 8.1 percent increase in nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices.
All Exports: Export prices advanced 0.1 percent in November after a 2.1 percent drop the previous month. In November, a rise in agricultural prices more than offset falling nonagricultural prices. Overall export prices rose 4.7 percent for the November 2010-11 period, the smallest year-over-year advance since a 4.1 percent increase between August 2009 and August 2010.
Agricultural Exports: Agricultural prices increased 1.5 percent in November after declining 6.5 percent the previous month. An upturn in corn and soybeans prices which rose 9.0 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively, primarily drove the November advance. The price index for agricultural exports increased 5.3 percent for the year ended in November.
All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Prices for nonagricultural exports edged down 0.1 percent in November following a 1.5 percent decrease in October. Falling prices for both nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials and consumer goods contributed to the November decline. Nonagricultural prices increased 4.8 percent over the past year, led by a 10.2 percent advance in the price index for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials.
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