The following is the text of the U.S. import and export prices report for November from the Commerce Department:
U.S. import prices decreased 0.9 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, following increases in each of the three previous months. The decline was primarily led by lower fuel prices. The price index for U.S. exports also fell in November, decreasing 0.7 percent after remaining unchanged in October.
Imports All Imports:
Import prices fell for the first time since July after rising 2.5 percent over the previous three months. A 3.0 percent decline in fuel prices mainly drove the November decrease in import prices, although nonfuel prices also decreased for the month. The price index for overall imports fell 1.6 percent over the past 12 months, a contrast to the previous 12-month period ended in November 2011 when import prices rose 10.1 percent.
Import fuel prices fell 3.0 percent in November after edging down 0.1 percent the previous month. The November decline was the largest downturn since an 8.5 percent drop in June. A 3.6 percent decline in petroleum prices in November more than offset an 18.2 percent advance in natural gas prices. Fuel prices decreased 7.0 percent for the year ended in November following a 32.4 percent rise for the November 2010-11 period. Falling prices for both petroleum and natural gas over the past year, down 7.0 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively, each contributed to the 12-month drop in overall fuel prices.
All Imports Excluding Fuel:
The price index for nonfuel imports fell 0.2 percent in November after rising 0.4 percent in October and 0.2 percent in September. In November, most of the major finished goods categories contributed to the decline as prices for capital goods; foods, feeds, and beverages; nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; and consumer goods all fell. Despite the November decrease, prices for nonfuel imports rose 0.2 percent over the past year as higher finished goods prices more than offset lower prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials and foods, feeds, and beverages.
Exports All Exports:
Prices for overall exports decreased 0.7 percent in November after recording no change in October. The decline was driven by lower nonagricultural prices which more than offset a 0.1 percent uptick in agricultural prices. Despite the November decline, the price index for overall exports rose 0.7 percent over the past year.
Agricultural prices advanced 0.1 percent in November, led by a 5.9 percent increase in fruit prices and a 2.4 percent rise in wheat prices. In contrast, prices for fish, corn, and soybeans all declined for the month. Prices for agricultural exports increased 10.0 percent over the past 12 months. That advance was driven by a 30.2 percent rise in soybeans prices, a 14.5 percent increase in corn prices, and a 19.8 percent advance in wheat prices.
All Exports Excluding Agriculture:
The price index for nonagricultural exports declined 0.7 percent in November following increases over the three previous months. The November drop was led by lower prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials and consumer goods. The decrease in November helped drive nonagricultural prices down 0.4 percent over the past 12 months.
SELECTED NOVEMBER HIGHLIGHTS
Import Prices Imports by Locality of Origin:
Prices for imports from China fell for the third consecutive month in November, edging down 0.1 percent following 0.2 percent declines in October and September. Import prices from China have not recorded a monthly advance since a 0.1 percent rise in February and decreased 0.7 percent over the past year. The index had previously increased 4.0 percent between November 2010 and November 2011. The price index for imports from Mexico also decreased in November falling 1.3 percent. In contrast, the price for imports from Canada ticked up 0.1 percent. Import prices from the European Union and Japan were unchanged in November.
Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials:
The price index for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials declined 0.4 percent in November after rising 1.2 percent the previous month. Both the November decrease and October advance were led by unfinished metals prices which fell 0.7 percent in November following a 4.5 percent increase the previous month.
Finished goods prices were mostly down in November as capital goods prices decreased 0.3 percent and consumer goods edged down 0.1 percent. Prices for automotive vehicles were unchanged. The November drop in capital goods prices was driven by a 0.6 percent decline in the price index for computers, peripherals, and semiconductors.
Foods, Feeds, and Beverages:
Prices for import foods, feeds, and beverages decreased 1.3 percent in November following a 0.2 percent rise in October. The November decline was driven by a 14.5 percent drop in coffee prices and a 5.9 percent decrease in vegetable prices.
Import air passenger fares fell 0.9 percent in November after rising 2.0 percent the previous month. Lower Asian fares more than offset increasing European and Latin American/Caribbean fares. Despite the decline, import air passenger fares rose 2.9 percent for the year ended in November. Prices for import air freight advanced 0.5 percent in November but decreased 0.5 percent over the past 12 months.
Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials:
Nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices fell 2.0 percent in November following a 0.5 percent increase in October. The November drop was driven by a 6.0 percent decrease in export fuel prices.
Finished goods prices were mixed in November; capital goods prices rose 0.2 percent, consumer goods prices fell 0.2 percent, and the price index for automotive vehicles remained unchanged. The increase in capital goods prices was led by a 3.3 percent advance in the price index for computer peripherals.
Export air passenger fares rose 0.4 percent in November, led by higher Latin American/Caribbean and European fares. The index for export air passenger fares advanced 0.9 percent for the November 2011-12 period. Export air freight prices declined 0.3 percent in November.
Import and Export Price Index data for December 2012 are scheduled for release on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. (EST).