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S. Korea’s producer prices slip for 4th month in Oct.

South Korea’s producer prices declined in October for the fourth straight month, central bank data showed Wednesday, reflecting sluggish growth and changes in pork prices.

The overall producer price index stood at 103.61 last month, down 0.2 percent from a month earlier and down 0.6 percent from a year earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea.

This marked the fourth consecutive month of an on-year drop and the first on-month fall in three months.

The key reason for the decline, according to the BOK, were pork prices, which have been impacted by African swine fever in recent months.

In September, when the deadly animal disease first broke out here, pork prices climbed 11.9 percent on-month, due to the contracted supply, but prices plunged 32.5 percent in October amid a recovery in supply and sluggish demand.

Such factors caused agricultural and fisheries producer prices to drop 4.7 percent on-month in September-October.

Another downside factor was the DRAM business, for which the producer price index slipped 7.2 percent on-month and 49.7 percent on-year, data showed.

In September, the country’s consumer prices dipped 0.4 percent from a year earlier, marking the first-ever negative growth in inflation since the government started compiling such data in 1965. The main reason, according to the BOK, was the sharp drop in agricultural product prices.

By Bae Hyun-jung (