Import prices up for 3rd month in September on higher oil prices
South Korea's import prices rose for the third straight month in September due to the higher price of crude oil, central bank data showed Tuesday.
The import price index rose 2.9 percent last month from a month earlier following a 4.2 percent rise and a 0.2 percent advance in August and July, respectively, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea.
In August, the index spiked by the most in 17 months.
From a year earlier, the prices fell 9.6 percent, the data showed.
Import prices are a major factor that determines the path of the country's overall rate of inflation.
The Dubai crude price, South Korea's benchmark, stood at $93.25 per barrel in September, up from $86.46 the previous month, according to the central bank.
The import prices of raw materials rose 5.7 percent, while those for intermediate goods gained 2 percent.
The export price index also rose 1.7 percent in September, marking a rise for the third straight month.
Meanwhile, South Korea's consumer prices accelerated by the most in five months in September, driven by higher oil costs and rising prices of some farm goods.
Consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, rose 3.7 percent last month from a year earlier, accelerating from a 3.4 on-month rise in August.
In August, the BOK kept its key interest rate unchanged at 3.5 percent for the fifth straight time. The central bank delivered seven consecutive rate hikes from April 2022 to January 2023. (Yonhap)