Import Prices Jump 0.5% Led By Fuel, Export Prices Flat But Ag Prices Down 1.4%

Import prices jumped 0.5% while export prices were flat. The inflation hawks will yap. So will Trump about soybeans.

The BLS provides this synopsis of Import and Export Prices for September.

Prices for U.S. imports increased 0.5 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, after declining 0.4 percent in August and 0.1 percent in July. The September advance was led by higher fuel prices. U.S. export prices recorded no change in September following declines of 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent the previous 2 months.


Import prices advanced 0.5 percent in September, the first monthly increase since a 0.9-percent rise in May. The upturn reversed the declines in each of the previous 2 months. Prices for overall imports rose 3.5 percent from September 2017 to September 2018 and have not recorded an over-the-year decrease since the index fell 0.2 percent in October 2016. (

Fuel Imports: The price index for import fuels increased 3.8 percent in September, after declining 2.2 percent in August. The September advance was the largest monthly rise since a 6.1-percent increase in May and was led by higher petroleum prices which more than offset lower natural gas prices. Prices for petroleum increased 4.1 percent in September following a 2.3-percent decline the previous month. In contrast, natural gas prices fell 4.0 percent, after decreasing 3.9 percent in August. Fuel prices increased 30.0 percent for the year ended in September, driven by a 32.1-percent advance in petroleum prices. The price index for natural gas fell 1.3 percent over the past 12 months.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Prices for nonfuel imports recorded no change in September, after a 0.2- percent decline in August. Higher foods, feeds, and beverages prices in September offset decreasing prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials and consumer goods. The price index for nonfuel imports increased 0.6 percent over the past 12 months. The over-the-year advance was driven mostly by a 4.3- percent rise in nonfuel industrial supplies and materials, although higher prices for consumer goods and automotive vehicles also contributed to the increase. In contrast, prices for foods, feeds, and beverages fell over the same period and prices for capital goods recorded no change.

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