Growth in prices of imports rose in AugustThe growth of Korea’s import prices picked up in August from the previous month as on-year gains in oil costs overshadowed the local currency’s ascent to the dollar, the central bank said yesterday.
In local currency terms, the country’s import prices rose 10 percent in August from a year earlier, accelerating from a 9.8 percent on-year expansion tallied in July, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
Compared with the previous month, import prices inched up 0.5 percent, a turnaround from a 1.1 percent on-month fall in July.
“On-year gains in oil prices raised costs of intermediary goods, offsetting the won’s appreciation to the greenback,” said Lim Su-young, an official at the BOK.
The costs of Dubai crude, Korea’s benchmark, jumped more than 40 percent last month from a year earlier.
The Korean won climbed almost 10 percent to the greenback in August from the previous year, smaller than about a 14 percent on-year gain seen in July. A stronger won helps ease inflationary pressure as it makes prices of imported goods cheaper.
Meanwhile, the country’s export prices in Korean won rose 1.8 percent last month from a year earlier, a turnaround from a 1.3 percent on-year decline in July, due to oil price gains, the BOK said.
Compared with the previous month, export prices rebounded to 1.3 percent in August from a 1.3 percent fall because the won depreciated 1.3 percent on-month.
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