The Korea Herald


Import prices up in July on higher oil prices

By Yonhap

Published : Aug. 17, 2023 - 09:11

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Containers at a port in Busan (Yonhap) Containers at a port in Busan (Yonhap)

South Korea's import prices rose in July largely due to the higher price of crude oil, central bank data showed Thursday.

The import price index rose 0.4 percent last month from a month earlier, following a 3.9 percent fall tallied in June, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea.

The rise came as the cost of crude oil rose.

Import prices are a major factor that determines the path of the country's overall rate of inflation.

The Dubai crude price, South Korea's benchmark, stood at $80.45 per barrel in July, up from $74.99 the previous month, according to the central bank.

The export price index also rose 0.1 percent in July from the previous month following a 3.2 percent dip the previous month as the Korean won strengthened against the US dollar.

The won averaged at 1.286.30 against the greenback last month, compared with 1,296.71 the previous month.

Meanwhile, South Korea's on-year consumer price growth slowed for the sixth straight month in July, staying below 2 percent.

Consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, rose 2.3 percent last month from a year earlier, compared with a 2.7 percent increase in June. In June, inflation fell below 3 percent for the first time since September 2021.

Last month, the BOK kept its key interest rate unchanged at 3.5 percent for the fourth straight time. The central bank delivered seven consecutive rate hikes from April 2022 to January 2023. (Yonhap)