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Import prices drop by fastest pace in nearly 4 yrs in Nov.

All Headlines 06:00 December 13, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's import prices fell by the sharpest pace in nearly four years last month due to a drop in crude oil prices, central bank data showed Thursday.

As calculated in Korean won, the import price index lost 4.6 percent from a month earlier to a six-month low of 87.96 in November, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The 4.6 percent on-month dip marked the sharpest since January 2015, when the index fell 7.5 percent.

The BOK said the recent downside trend of crude oil prices dragged down South Korea's overall import price index as Asia's fourth-largest economy depends on imports to meet nearly all of its oil demand.

The average price of Dubai crude, South Korea's benchmark, plunged 17.4 percent on-month to US$65.56 last month.

"Crude oil accounts for a majority of South Korea's overall imports," the central bank said. "As the crude prices have been on a decline since the end of September, the import price index is expected to keep decreasing."

At the same time, the export price index in terms of local currency fell 2.3 percent to 86.10 in November, ending the seven-month winning streak, the BOK said.

Import prices drop by fastest pace in nearly 4 yrs in Nov. - 1

brk@yna.co.kr
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