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Economic News Release
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U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                                      USDL-22-0021
8:30 a.m. (ET) Friday, January 14, 2022

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                              U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - DECEMBER 2021                              

U.S. import prices declined 0.2 percent in December, after rising 0.7 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau 
of Labor Statistics reported today. In December, lower fuel prices more than offset higher prices for nonfuel 
imports. Prices for U.S. exports fell 1.8 percent in December following a 0.8-percent advance in November.  

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
		Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on December 2021 Import and Export Price Indexes

For each month from March 2020 to December 2021, BLS has published a summary of the impact of the 
pandemic on U.S. import and export price indexes. The impact summary for December is available at 
www.bls.gov/covid19/import-export-price-indexes-covid19-impacts-december-2021.htm. Beginning with 
publication of January 2022 data in February 2022, this month-specific impact summary will be 
discontinued. However, information related to the impact of the pandemic will continue to be available at 
www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-import-export-price-indexes.htm.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Imports 

The price index for U.S. imports declined 0.2 percent in December, the first monthly decrease since the 
index fell 0.2 percent in August 2021. Despite the December drop, U.S. import prices increased 10.4 percent 
over the past year. The advance in 2021 was the largest calendar-year rise since import prices increased 10.6 
percent in 2007. (See table 1.)

Fuel Imports: Prices for import fuel decreased 6.5 percent in December, the first monthly decline since 
August 2021 and the largest drop since a 30.9-percent decrease in April 2020. In December, a 6.0-percent 
fall in petroleum prices and a 13.7-percent decline in natural gas prices drove the drop in import fuel prices. 
Despite the December decrease, import fuel prices rose 62.7 percent in 2021, the largest calendar-year 
advance since the index increased 114.7 percent in 1999. The price indexes for petroleum and natural gas 
also rose over the past year, advancing 62.0 percent and 86.9 percent, respectively.  

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Nonfuel import prices increased 0.5 percent for the third consecutive month 
in December. Prices for nonfuel imports have not recorded a monthly decline since November 2020. Higher 
prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; consumer goods; foods, feeds, and beverages; 
automotive vehicles; and capital goods all contributed to the rise in nonfuel import prices. The price index 
for nonfuel imports advanced 6.4 percent for the year ended in December, the largest calendar-year increase 
since the series started in 2002.          

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Prices for foods, feeds, and beverages rose 0.5 percent in December 
following a 0.2-percent drop the previous month. Higher fruit prices in December led the increase.           

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: The price index for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials 
advanced 1.7 percent in December, after rising 1.9 percent in November. The December increase was driven 
by higher prices for selected building materials and chemicals.            

Finished Goods: Prices for each of the major finished goods categories advanced in December. Consumer 
goods prices rose 0.5 percent, the largest monthly advance since February 2018. Prices for automotive 
vehicles increased 0.2 percent in December, and capital goods prices ticked up 0.1 percent.

Table A. Percent change in Import and Export Price Indexes, selected categories

Month IMPORTS EXPORTS
All
imports
Fuel
imports
Nonfuel
imports
All
exports
Agri-
cultural
exports
Non-
agricultural
exports

2020

December

1.0 7.3 0.4 1.2 1.0 1.3

2021

January

1.5 9.0 0.9 2.7 6.0 2.3

February

1.2 10.9 0.4 1.6 2.7 1.5

March

1.5 8.0 0.9 2.5 2.4 2.5

April

0.9 1.9 0.8 1.2 0.7 1.2

May

1.3 5.2 0.9 2.3 6.1 1.8

June

1.1 4.9 0.7 1.2 1.4 1.1

July

0.3 2.9 0.0 1.1 -1.7 1.3

August

-0.2 -2.2 0.0 0.2 0.9 0.1

September

0.4 3.6 0.1 0.3 -1.5 0.5

October

1.5 11.1 0.5 (r)1.9 (r)1.2 (r)2.0

November

0.7 (r)2.3 0.5 (r)0.8 (r)1.1 (r)0.6

December

-0.2 -6.5 0.5 -1.8 0.8 -2.1

Dec. 2019 to 2020

-0.3 -20.1 1.9 0.4 5.4 -0.1

Dec. 2020 to 2021

10.4 62.7 6.4 14.7 21.7 13.8

Footnotes
(r) Revised

Exports 

U.S. export prices decreased 1.8 percent in December, after advancing 0.8 percent in November and 1.9 
percent in October. The December decline was the largest 1-month drop since the index fell 3.5 percent in 
April 2020. Despite the December decrease, U.S. export prices rose 14.7 percent from December 2020 to 
December 2021. The 2021 advance was the largest calendar-year increase since the series was first 
published in 1984. (See table 2.)

Agricultural Exports: Prices for agricultural exports increased 0.8 percent in December following a 1.1-
percent rise in November and a 1.2-percent advance in October. In December, higher prices for soybeans, 
fruit, cotton, dairy products, and corn more than offset lower prices for nuts and meat. Agricultural export 
prices increased 21.7 percent for the year ended in December, the largest calendar-year advance since the 
index rose 23.3 percent in 2007.                      

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: The price index for nonagricultural exports fell 2.1 percent in 
December, after increasing 0.6 percent in November and 2.0 percent in October. The December decline is 
the largest monthly drop since the index decreased 3.5 percent in April 2020. Lower prices in December for 
nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials and nonagricultural food more than offset higher prices for 
capital goods and consumer goods. Prices for nonagricultural exports advanced 13.8 percent over the past 
year despite the December decline.               

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices 
decreased 5.3 percent in December, the largest 1-month decline since the index fell 10.4 percent in April 
2020. The December decline was led by an 11.6-percent drop in fuel prices and a 2.2-percent decrease in 
nonferrous metal prices.       

Finished Goods: Prices for most of the major finished goods categories advanced in December. The price 
index for capital goods increased 0.3 percent for the month and 3.7 percent over the past year. The 2021 
increase was the largest calendar-year rise since 1981. Consumer goods prices rose 0.4 percent for the 
second consecutive month in December. Prices for automotive vehicles were unchanged in December, after 
rising 0.2 percent the previous month.

Measures of Import and Export Prices by Locality

Imports by Locality of Origin: Prices for imports from China advanced 0.6 percent in December, after 
increasing 0.3 percent in November. The December rise was the largest 1-month advance since July 2021. 
Import prices from China increased 4.7 percent over the past 12 months, the largest calendar-year advance 
since the series was first published in 2004. The price index for imports from Japan was unchanged in 
December following a 0.1-percent increase the previous month. Prices for imports from Japan rose 1.9 
percent for the year ended in December, the largest calendar-year increase since 2011. In contrast, import 
prices from Canada decreased 2.4 percent in December, after rising 2.1 percent in November and 5.7 
percent in October. Prices for imports from Mexico also fell in December, declining 0.6 percent. Import 
prices from the European Union were unchanged in December. (See table 7.)
	
Exports by Locality of Destination: The price index for exports to China decreased 1.4 percent in 
December, after increasing 1.1 percent in November. The December decline was the largest monthly drop in 
export prices to China since a 2.5-percent decrease in April 2020. Prices for exports to China advanced 9.4 
percent over the past year. Export prices to Japan fell 2.0 percent in December, the first 1-month decline 
since August 2021 and the largest monthly drop since a 3.5-percent decrease in April 2020. Prices for 
exports to Canada declined 1.5 percent in December, the first 1-month drop for the index since a 3.0-percent 
decrease in April 2020. The price indexes for exports to Mexico and the European Union also fell in 
December, declining 3.0 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. (See table 8.)

Terms of Trade Indexes: Terms of trade indexes are based on country, region, or grouping and measure 
the change in the purchasing power of exports relative to imports. U.S. terms of trade with China fell 2.0 
percent in December, the largest monthly decline for the index since a 2.6-percent drop in April 2020. In 
December, both higher prices for imports from China and lower export prices to China contributed to the 
decline in the U.S. terms of trade. Despite the December decrease, U.S. terms of trade with China advanced 
4.6 percent over the past year. The index for U.S. terms of trade with Japan also declined 2.0 percent in 
December following increases of 1.0 percent and 1.1 percent the 2 previous months. In contrast, U.S. terms 
of trade with Canada rose 0.9 percent in December, after declining 1.6 percent in November and 4.0 percent 
in October. The index for U.S. terms of trade with Mexico fell 2.4 percent in December and U.S. terms of 
trade with the European Union declined 1.0 percent over the same period. (See table 9.)

Import and Export Services

Imports: Import air passenger fares increased 5.1 percent in December, the largest 1-month advance since 
the index rose 9.6 percent in June 2021. The increase in December was led by higher Asian and Latin 
American/Caribbean fares which more than offset lower European fares. The index for import air passenger 
fares advanced 11.1 percent in 2021. Import air freight prices declined 13.1 percent in December, after 
advancing 14.1 percent the previous month. Despite the December decrease, prices for import air freight 
rose 10.6 percent over the past 12 months. (See table 10.)

Exports: The index for export air passenger fares increased 2.3 percent in December following a 0.9-
percent advance in November. The December rise in export air passenger fares was the largest monthly 
increase since an 8.2-percent advance in July 2021. Higher Latin American/Caribbean, Asian, and European 
fares all contributed to the December advance. Export air passenger fares rose 11.9 percent from December 
2020 to December 2021, the largest calendar-year increase since 2011. Prices for export air freight declined 
1.3 percent in December following a 0.4-percent rise in November. Despite the December drop, export air 
freight prices advanced 4.3 percent over the past year.    
		
U.S. Import and Export Price Index data for January 2022 are scheduled for release on Wednesday, February 
16, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
Last Modified Date: January 14, 2022