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S. Korea's import prices inch down in Aug. on weaker oil costs

2018/09/14 08:30

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SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's import prices edged down for the first time in eight months in August as crude prices fell, central bank data showed Friday.

In local currency terms, the import price index came to 89.40, down 0.2 percent from the prior month, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

It marked the first monthly decline since the 0.7 percent drop recorded in December last year.

The BOK attributed the decrease to a downturn in international crude prices and a stronger won. Prices of Dubai crude, South Korea's benchmark, dipped 0.9 percent on-month to US$72.49 per barrel in August.

"Import prices went south as oil prices dipped and the Korean won strengthened against the greenback," a BOK official said. "Import prices of raw materials also dropped due to weaker demand stemming from the Sino-U.S. trade row."

   Import prices of capital goods and consumer products fell 0.3 percent and 0.1 percent in August from the previous month, respectively.

Meanwhile, the export price index in local currency terms lost 0.1 percent on-month to 87.61 due largely to the won's strength against the U.S. dollar, according to the central bank.

The South Korean currency changed hands at an average of 1,121.15 won against the greenback in August, up 0.1 percent from the previous month.

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