September 13, 2012
U.S. import prices rose 0.7 percent in August after declining 0.7 percent the previous month. The August increase was the first advance in overall import prices since a 1.4-percent rise in March. Export prices also increased in August, rising 0.9 percent following a 0.4-advance in July.
Prices for imported fuel advanced 4.1 percent in August following declines in each of the four previous months. Higher prices for petroleum and natural gas, up 4.1 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, each contributed to the August increase in fuel prices.
The price index for nonfuel imports continued a recent downward trend, falling 0.2 percent after declines of 0.4 percent in July, 0.3 percent in June, and 0.1 percent in May.
The August increase in overall export prices was the largest monthly rise since the index advanced 1.5 percent in March 2011. Agricultural prices rose 5.1 percent in August after a 6.3-percent increase in July. Both advances were led by higher prices for corn, soybeans, and wheat; in August, corn prices rose 11.1 percent, soybean prices 5.6 percent, and wheat prices 9.0 percent.
Prices for nonagricultural exports advanced 0.4 percent in August following a 0.3-percent decline the previous month.
These data are from the International Price program. Import and export prices are subject to revision. To learn more, see "U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes — August 2012" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-1832.