Import Prices Increase 0.3% in July on Higher Fuel Prices; Export Prices Rise 1.3 Percent

Prices for U.S. imports increased 0.3% in July, after advancing 1.1% the previous month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The July increase was driven by higher fuel prices. U.S. export prices rose 1.3 percent in July following a 1.2% advance in June.

Imports

U.S. import prices increased 0.3% in July, after advances of 1.1% in June and 1.3% in May. The July rise is the smallest monthly increase since the index ticked up 0.1% in November. Prices for U.S. imports advanced 10.2% from July 2020 to July 2021, led by higher prices for both nonfuel and fuel imports.

Fuel Imports: Prices for import fuel rose 2.9% in July following increases of 5.5% in June and 5.2% in May. Higher prices for both petroleum and natural gas contributed to all three monthly advances. Prices for import fuel advanced 66.5% for the year ended in July. Petroleum prices rose 2.1% in July and 65.5% over the past 12 months. The price index for natural gas increased 17.1% in July and 120.9% from July 2020 to July 2021; the 12-month advance in July was the largest over-the-year increase since October 2005.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports was unchanged in July, after a 0.7% increase in June and a 0.9% advance in May. In July, higher prices for capital goods; automotive vehicles; consumer goods; and foods, feeds, and beverages offset a drop in nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices. Prices for nonfuel imports rose 6.3% for the year ended in July.

Exports

The price index for U.S. exports increased 1.3% in July following advances of 1.2% in June and 2.3% in May. U.S. export prices have not decreased on a monthly basis since declining 3.5% in April 2020. Higher nonagricultural export prices in July more than offset lower agricultural export prices. U.S. export prices advanced 17.2% for the year ended in July, up from the 16.9% increase the previous month.

Agricultural Exports: Agricultural export prices fell 1.7% in July, after a 1.5% advance in June and a 6.1% increase in May. The decline was the first monthly drop since a 2.2% decrease in August 2020. Lower prices for soybeans, fruit, and corn more than offset higher prices for dairy products, nuts, vegetables, and cotton. Despite the decline, prices for agricultural exports rose 29.2% from July 2020 to July 2021.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Prices for nonagricultural exports advanced 1.6% in July following a 1.1% increase the previous month. The price index for nonagricultural exports has not declined on a monthly basis since October 2020. In July, higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, automotive vehicles, and nonagricultural foods all contributed to the overall advance in nonagricultural export prices. Nonagricultural export prices rose 15.8% over the past 12 months.