Import And Export Prices Surge In The Covid-19 Recovery

Export Price Synopsis

  • Prices for U.S. exports increased 2.1 percent in March, after rising 1.6 percent in February and 2.6 percent in January. 
  • The 6.5-percent advance from December to March was the largest 3-month increase since the index was first published in September 1983. 
  • In March, higher prices for agricultural and nonagricultural exports both contributed to the advance in export prices. 
  • The price index for U.S. exports rose 9.1 percent from March 2020 to March 2021, the largest over-the-year increase since a 9.4-percent advance in September 2011.

Export Price Details

  • Agricultural Exports: Agricultural export prices rose 2.4 percent in March following increases of 2.8 percent in February and 6.0 percent in January. 
  • The March advance was driven by higher prices for meat, soybeans, fruit, and cotton. 
  • Prices for agricultural exports advanced 20.5 percent over the past 12 months, the largest over-the-year rise since the index increased 22.7 percent in September 2011. 
  • The 12-month increase was primarily driven by rising prices for soybeans, corn, meat, and fruit. 
  • All Exports Excluding Agriculture: The price index for nonagricultural exports advanced 2.0 percent in March, after rising 5.1 percent from November to February. 
  • The March increase was led by higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials; consumer goods; capital goods; and nonagricultural foods. 
  • Nonagricultural export prices increased 7.9 percent over the past 12 months, the largest over-the-year advance for the index since a 7.9-percent rise in September 2011.  

Inflation Chatter Will Pick Up

Inflation chatter is sure to pick up following this report. 

Year-over-year CPI numbers are sure to surge in the next few months as well. I will post some estimates later today.

That said, I side with Lacy Hunt at Hoisington Management that inflation is mostly in the rearview mirror.

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