By Brai Odion-Esene and Ian Mckendry

WASHINGTON (MNI) – The U.S. import price index rose again in
November, edging up 1.3% after rising by a revised 1.0% in October, with
increasing fuel and non-fuel prices feeding the jump, the Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The export price index rose for the fourth consecutive month in
November, the BLS said, up by 1.5%.

Import prices rose 3.7% year-over-year for November, a slight
increase over the previous month’s 3.4% year-over-year increase.

As mentioned, aiding the increase in November import prices was a
3.7% jump in fuel import prices — this follows a revised 3.8% increase
in fuel import prices in October. The rise in fuel import prices, was
driven by a 4.1% jump in petroleum prices, which more than offset a 3.8%
decline in natural gas import prices.

Year-over-year, petroleum import prices rose 7.4% while natural gas
prices declined 15.2%, pushing the overall fuel imports price index up
6.3% for the same period.

Non-fuel import prices also rose, up 0.8% vs. a 0.3% increase in
October. This is the largest increase since the index rose 1.1% in April
2008. Non-petroleum import prices rose by 0.7% in November.

The BLS said the largest contributor to the jump in non-fuel import
prices was the 2.6% rise in prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and
materials, although the 2.4% jump in foods and beverages import prices
(up 12.2% y/y) was also a factor.

November also saw higher import prices for finished goods, with
automotive vehicle prices rising 0.5% in November, while import prices
for consumer goods excluding autos rose 0.3%.

The non-fuel import price index rose 3.0% over the past 12 months,
led higher by the 13.2% y/y rise in prices for non-fuel industrial
supplies and materials.

By region, prices for imports from China rose 0.2%, while prices
for European Union imports rose 0.8% in November.

Prices of imports from Mexico rose by 0.9%, Canada by 1.4%.

As mentioned earlier, the export price index rose last month, up
1.5% vs. +0.8% in October, with both agricultural and non-agricultural
export prices continuing to climb higher. The rise in the export price
index is the largest since July 2008 (+1.5%).

Non-agricultural export prices rose 0.8%, and agricultural exports
prices were up 8.0%. According to the BLS, the monthly rise in
agricultural export prices was the largest “since the index was
published on a monthly basis in December 1988.”

Export prices rose 6.5% year-over-year, the largest 12-month change
since a 7.0% increase between September 2007 and September 2008.

The report, the only one of its kind done in or out of government,
itself is largely but not entirely made up of monthly price changes
submitted voluntarily by firms, with some items priced quarterly. The
BLS also makes quality adjustments to the price quotes if the product
has been improved.

** Market News International Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **

[TOPICS: MAUDS$,M$U$$$,MT$$$$]