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S. Korea's import prices rise for two months running

(Global Times)

14:18, October 15, 2012

South Korea's import prices rose for two straight months in September due mainly to a rise in crude oil prices and the consequent oil product price hike, data by the central bank showed Monday.

In local currency terms, import prices advanced 0.9 percent in September from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea. From a year before, the prices declined 2.4 percent.

The on-month figure maintained its upward trend for the second consecutive month in September after ending its four-month-long minus growth in August.

The continued rise was attributable to rising crude prices and the subsequent gain in petroleum product prices. Dubai crude, South Korea's benchmark, averaged $111.2 a barrel in September, up 2.4 percent from the previous month.

Prices for raw materials imported from overseas rose 0.9 percent in September from a month before. Farm goods prices declined 1.2 percent last month, but prices for mining products, including crude oil, gained 1.1 percent.

Intermediate goods prices climbed 0.9 percent on-month in September, a turnaround from a 0.3 percent decline in the previous month. Oil product prices gained 4.2 percent, and chemical product prices rose 1.1 percent.

Prices for capital goods rose 0.4 percent on-month in September, a turnaround from a 0.7 percent fall in August. Consumer goods advanced 1.7 percent last month.

In contract currency terms, import prices climbed 1.4 percent on-month in September. The South Korean currency appreciated 0.6 percent against the US dollar last month.

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