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US import, export prices down in August

US import, export prices down in August

HOUSTON, Sept. 14, (Xinhua): US import and export prices decreased in August, the U.S. Department of Labor reported on Friday. The price index for U.S. imports decreased 0.5 percent in August, after rising 0.1 percent in the previous month. With the exception of the August and June decreases, U.S. import prices advanced in each month of 2019. Despite the increases, the price index for U.S. imports declined 2.0 percent from August 2018 to August 2019. Prices for import fuel decreased 4.3 percent in August after rising 0.7 percent the previous month. Prices for import fuel fell 11.1 percent over the past 3 months. In August, lower petroleum prices more than offset higher prices for natural gas. The price index for import petroleum declined 4.8 percent, after increasing 0.9 percent the previous month. Fuel prices decreased 8.7 percent over the past 12 months. Prices for import petroleum fell 9.6 percent over the same period. Prices for nonfuel imports were unchanged for the second consecutive month in August following 0.3-percent decreases in both June and May. In August, lower prices for foods, feeds, and beverages and nonfuel industrial supplies and materials were offset by price increases for automotive vehicles and consumer goods. Prices for nonfuel imports declined 1.0 percent over the past 12 months, led by price decreases for industrial supplies and materials and capital goods. Meanwhile, prices for U.S. exports decreased 0.6 percent in August, after a 0.2-percent rise the previous month. The decline was driven by price decreases for both agricultural and nonagricultural exports. The price index for U.S. exports also fell on a 12-month basis in August, declining 1.4 percent from August 2018 to August 2019. Agricultural export prices drop 2.5 percent in August following a rise of 0.2 percent in July and 2.4 percent in June. The decrease in August was the largest monthly decline since the index fell 5.2 percent in July 2018. Lower prices for vegetables, corn, soybeans, cotton, meat, and wheat all contributed to the decline. Despite the monthly drop, prices for agricultural exports rose 0.5 percent over the past year. The price index for nonagricultural exports fell 0.4 percent in August following a 0.2-percent increase in July. The August decrease was driven by price declines for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials and automotive vehicles. Prices for nonagricultural exports fell 1.6 percent for the year ended in August. Lower prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials more than offset price increases for finished goods over the 12-month period.

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