S Korea's import price growth slows in May amid falling commodity prices

13:44, June 15, 2011      

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South Korea's import prices grew at a slower pace in May than in the previous month due to falling global commodity prices, the central bank said Wednesday.

In local currency terms, the country's import prices rose 13.2 percent last month from a year earlier, slowing from a 19 percent on-year jump in April, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said in a monthly report.

From the previous month, import prices dropped 2.3 percent in May, a turnaround from a 0.7 percent on-month gain tallied for April.

The eased rise was mainly attributable to falling global prices of raw materials such as agricultural goods and crude oil, according to the BOK.

Raw material import prices slipped 4.4 percent on-month in May, with agricultural goods such as corn and natural rubber falling 2.7 percent. Mining import prices, including crude oil and bituminous coal, dropped 4.6 percent last month from a month earlier, the report showed.

Prices of intermediate goods, including petrochemical and steel products, slid 1.1 percent in May from the previous month, but import prices of capital and consumer goods rose 0.3 percent and 0. 9 percent each in May from a month earlier.

In U.S. dollar terms, import prices advanced 20.1 percent on- year in May, higher than a 13.2 percent gain in the local currency-based prices, indicating the South Korean won appreciated against the greenback.

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