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U.S. Export Prices Recorded Drop In December, 1st Time For This Index
 

Prices for U.S. imports ticked up 0.1 percent in December, and prices for exports fell 0.1 percent, the first monthly decline for the index, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.

Export prices drop was led by falling agricultural prices, because the price index for nonagricultural prices recorded no change for U.S.

However, U.S. export prices still rose 2.6 percent in 2017 following a 1.3 percent rise in 2016. The 2017 advance was the largest calendar-year increase since 2011 when the index rose 3.6 percent.

Agricultural export prices declined 0.4 percent in December, after decreasing 0.8 percent in November. The December drop was driven by a 14.4 percent decline in vegetable prices.

Despite the December decrease, the price index for agricultural exports rose 1.8 percent in 2017, after a 0.3 percent drop the previous year. The 2017 advance was the first calendar-year rise since the index increased 13.4 percent in 2012. Higher meat prices were the largest contributor to the advance in agricultural prices in 2017.

Prices for nonagricultural exports recorded no change in December following a 0.6-percent advance in November. In December, prices for capital goods and consumer goods advanced and prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials and automotive vehicles decreased.

The price index for nonagricultural exports rose 2.7 percent in 2017, the largest calendar-year increase since the index advanced 4.0 percent in 2011. The 2017 increase was primarily led by higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials.

Meahwhile, import prices rose in December following 0.8 percent advances in two of the previous three months. The index has not recorded a monthly decline since falling 0.2 percent in July.

Prices for U.S imports increased 3.0 percent in 2017, after advancing 1.9 percent the previous year. The advance in 2017 was the largest calendar-year increase since import prices rose 8.5 percent in 2011.

Import fuel prices increased 1.8 percent in December, after rising 8.4 percent in November. The December rise was driven by a 2.0 percent increase in petroleum prices which more than offset a 4.9 percent decline in natural gas prices.

Import fuel prices rose 18.4 percent in 2017 following a 24.7 percent advance the previous year. Prior to 2016, import fuel prices had not recorded a calendar-year increase since 2011. In 2017, a 20.6 percent gain in petroleum prices more than offset a 15.7 percent drop in natural gas prices.

In contrast, the price index for nonfuel imports edged down 0.1 percent in December, the first monthly decline since a 0.1 percent drop in July. The decline in December was led by lower prices for foods, feeds, and beverages; consumer goods; and nonfuel industrial supplies and materials.

Despite the December downturn, nonfuel import prices increased 1.4 percent in 2017, after a 0.2-percent advance the previous year. The 2017 rise was the largest calendar-year increase since the index advanced 3.4 percent in 2011.


(www.chinaview.cn 2018-01-12)
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