Import and Export Prices Both Increase

U.S. import prices increased 0.6 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today,
following a 1.0-percent rise in February. Both the March and February increases were driven by higher fuel
prices.

Prices for U.S. exports rose 0.7 percent for the second consecutive month in March. Both agricultural
and nonagricultural prices contributed to the increase.

Import-Export Price Index. Click for larger version.

Imports

Prices for U.S. imports advanced 0.6 percent in March and 1.7 percent in the first 3 months of 2019. The
increase for the 3 months ended in March was the largest 3-month rise since the index advanced 1.9 percent
between October 2017 and January 2018. The import price index recorded no change over the past 12
months. (See table 1.)

Fuel Imports: Import fuel prices rose 6.4 percent in March after increasing 9.7 percent in February and 4.4
percent in January. Petroleum prices rose 4.7 percent in March, continuing the trend of the previous 2
months, and natural gas prices rose 42.3 percent following a 12.9-percent increase in February. Fuel prices
rose 7.3 percent over the past 12 months. The price index for petroleum increased 3.9 percent for the year
ended in March, and prices for natural gas rose 91.3 percent over the same period. The 12-month increase in
natural gas prices was the largest advance since the index rose 99.9 percent in March 2014.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports decreased 0.2 percent in March, after
rising 0.2 percent in February. In March, falling prices for capital goods, consumer goods, and nonfuel
industrial supplies and materials more than offset an increase in the prices for foods, feeds, and beverages.
Nonfuel import prices declined 0.8 percent from March 2018 to March 2019, the largest 12-month drop
since the index fell 0.9 percent for the year ended in August 2016. Each of the major import categories
contributed to the decrease in nonfuel prices over the past year.

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices edged down 0.1
percent in March following a 0.3-percent advance the previous month. The March decrease was driven by a
1.0-percent decline in chemical prices which more than offset rising metals prices.

Finished Goods: Prices for imported finished goods were mostly down in March. The price indexes for
capital goods and consumer goods each fell 0.2 percent. Automotive vehicle prices recorded no change in
March.

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Foods, feeds, and beverages prices ticked up 0.1 percent in March, after a
0.2-percent increase in February. The March advance was driven by higher prices for fish and shellfish;
vegetables; and meat.

Exports

The price index for U.S. exports advanced 0.7 percent in March, after increasing 0.7 percent the previous
month. Those increases followed 0.6-percent declines in January and December. Prices for nonagricultural
and agricultural exports each contributed to the overall advance in March. U.S. export prices rose 0.6
percent over the past 12 months.

Agricultural Exports: The price index for agricultural exports increased 0.9 percent in March following a
0.2-percent advance in February. The rise in March was led by a 34.9-percent increase in vegetable prices.
Rising prices for dairy products and eggs also contributed to the March advance. In contrast, wheat,
soybean, and corn prices declined in March. Despite the recent increases, agricultural export prices fell 2.3
percent over the past year. The decrease was driven by a 15.5-percent drop in soybean prices from March
2018 to March 2019.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Prices for nonagricultural exports rose 0.7 percent in March, after
increasing 0.8 percent in February. In March, higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and
materials more than offset lower prices for capital goods and automotive vehicles. The price index for
nonagricultural exports increased 1.0 percent for the year ended in March.

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices
advanced 2.1 percent in March following a 1.7-percent rise the previous month. The March increase was the
largest monthly advance since a 2.1-percent rise in November 2017 and was led by a 5.6-percent increase in
fuel prices.

Finished Goods: Prices for finished goods were mostly down in March. The price indexes for export capital
goods and automotive vehicles each edged down 0.1 percent. The declines followed a 0.2-percent advance
in capital goods prices and a 0.4-percent rise in automotive vehicles prices in February. Consumer goods
prices recorded no change in March, after increasing 0.5 percent the previous month.

Measures of Import and Export Prices by Locality

Imports by Locality of Origin: Prices for imports from China recorded no change in March following
declines of 0.1 percent in February and 0.3 percent in January. Import prices from China decreased 0.9
percent over the past 12 months, the largest over-the-year drop since the index fell 0.9 percent in September
2017. The price index for imports from Japan ticked up 0.1 percent in March following a 0.1-percent rise in
February. Prices for imports from Japan rose 0.3 percent over the past year. The price index for imports
from Canada advanced 2.0 percent, after rising 7.5 percent the previous month. The March increase was led
by higher fuel prices. In March, prices for imports from the European Union rose 0.3 percent for the second
consecutive month. Import prices from Mexico recorded no change in March, after rising 0.6 percent the
previous month.

Exports by Locality of Destination: Prices for exports to China rose 0.5 percent in March, after increasing
0.6 percent the previous month. Higher prices for both manufactured and nonmanufactured exports each
contributed to the March advance. Despite the recent increases, export prices to China declined 3.6 percent
over the past year. The price index for exports to Japan increased 0.2 percent in March following a 1.3-
percent rise in February. Prices for exports to Japan fell 1.9 percent over the past 12 months. In March,
export prices to Canada advanced 1.5 percent and export prices to Mexico rose 1.3 percent. The price index
for exports to the European Union advanced 0.3 percent in March, after recording a 0.8-percent increase in
February.

BLS tables here: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/ximpim_04122019.htm