April 13, 2011
U.S. import prices rose 2.7 percent in March following a 1.4-percent advance in February. The March increase was driven by both higher fuel and nonfuel prices. It continued a six-month upward trend, and was the largest one-month advance since a similar 2.7-percent rise in June 2009.
The price index for import fuel jumped 9.0 percent in March, the largest monthly rise since a 16.0-percent advance in June 2009. Higher petroleum prices drove the March advance, increasing 10.5 percent; in contrast, natural gas prices declined 14.0 percent in March.
Nonfuel import prices rose 0.6 percent in March following a 0.5-percent advance the month before. Rising prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials, and foods, feeds, and beverages, each contributed to the March increase.
Export prices advance 1.5 percent in March after rising 1.4 percent in February. The March increase matched a similar 1.5-percent advance in November 2010, and those were the largest increases since July 2008.
The price index for agricultural exports rose 2.3 percent in March, led by a 9.2-percent increase in corn prices and a 10.5-percent advance in cotton prices.
Prices for nonagricultural exports advanced 1.3 percent in March, the largest increase since a similar 1.3-percent rise in April 2010. Prices for all of the major goods categories increased in March.
These data are from the BLS International Price program. Import and export price data are subject to revision. For more information, see "U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes — March 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-0510.