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S. Korea's import, export prices rise in Feb. on oil price recovery

All News 06:00 March 14, 2016

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's import and export prices rose from a month earlier in February largely due to a recovery in global oil prices and the devaluation of the local currency against the U.S. dollar, central bank data showed Monday.

The export price index came to 81.99 last month, up 0.8 percent from a revised 81.32 the previous month, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The on-month gain, however, was mostly attributed to a weakening of the South Korean won, which on average traded 1,217.35 won against the U.S. greenback in February, down 1.3 percent from the average 1,201.67 won in the previous month, according to the BOK.

The price index represents changes in the value of South Korean exports, in terms of local currency, which means a dip in the won-dollar exchange rate will make South Korean exports or each dollar earned by exports more valuable in terms of local currency.

In February, the country's outbound shipments plunged 12.2 percent from a year earlier, marking the 14th consecutive month of an on-year drop.

From a year earlier, the February reading for export price index marks a 2-percent drop.

The import price index posted a 1.6-percent on-month rise to 76.16 last month, partly on the dip in the value of the South Korean won against the U.S. dollar, but also on the recent recovery in global oil prices.

The average price of Dubai crude, which accounts for some 80 percent of the country's overall oil imports, jumped 7.5 percent on-month to $28.87 per barrel last month, the BOK said.

The February reading still marks a 7.4-percent drop from the same month last year.


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