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Export Prices +0.6%, Import Prices +0.3%

Export prices advancing faster than import prices. YoY import prices are up 3.3% but China, Japan, Mexico barely moved.

The BLS Import and Export Price Report shows more movement in export prices than import prices for the second month.

  • All Imports: Import prices advanced 0.3 percent in April resuming the recent upward trend after declining 0.2 percent the previous month. The March decrease was the first time the index recorded a drop since a 0.2-percent decline in July 2017. Prices for U.S. imports rose 3.3 percent between April 2017 and April 2018. U.S. import prices have not recorded a 12-month decline since a 0.2-percent decrease for the year ended October 2016.
  • Fuel Imports: The price index for import fuels advanced 1.3 percent in April after declining 2.4 percent in March. Petroleum prices rose 1.6 percent in April more than offsetting a 4.4-percent drop in natural gas prices. Import fuel prices advanced 18.7 percent between April 2017 and April 2018 and have not declined on a 12-month basis since a 3.7-percent drop for the year ended September 2016. The price index for petroleum imports rose 20.6 percent over the past 12 months. Natural gas prices fell 6.6 percent for the year ended in April, the largest 12-month decline since a 16.1-percent decrease for the year ended October 2017.
  • All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports rose 0.2 percent in April, following advances of 0.1 percent in March and 0.4 percent in February. Higher import prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; consumer goods; and automotive vehicles more than offset declining prices for foods, feeds, and beverages. Nonfuel import prices advanced 1.8 percent over the past 12 months and have not recorded an over-the-year decline since a 0.2-percent drop for the year ended November 2016.
  • All Exports: Prices for U.S. exports rose 0.6 percent in April and have not recorded a decline since June 2017. The monthly advance was driven by higher nonagricultural export prices which more than offset declining agricultural prices. The price index for U.S. exports increased 3.8 percent over the past year, the largest 12-month increase since a 4.8-percent rise for the year ended November 2011. The index has not recorded a decrease on a 12-month basis since a 0.2-percent decline between November 2015 and November 2016.
  • Agricultural Exports: Prices for agricultural exports fell 1.2 percent in April after recording a 3.2-percent rise in March. The decline in April was the first monthly drop in agricultural prices since the index fell 0.3 percent in December 2017. Lower export prices for soybeans, nuts, and wheat drove the April decline. The price index for agricultural exports rose 1.4 percent over the past 12 months and has not declined over a 12-month period since a 1.8-percent decrease in July 2017.
  • All Exports Excluding Agriculture: The price index for nonagricultural exports increased 0.7 percent in April. Nonagricultural export prices have not declined on a monthly basis since a 0.1-percent drop in October 2017. The April increase in nonagricultural export prices was driven by a 1.5-percent rise in nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials. Prices for nonagricultural exports advanced 4.0 percent over the 12-month period ended April 2018, the largest 12-month increase since a 4.8-percent rise for the year ended November 2011.

Select Country Import Prices

  • China: Import prices from China fell 0.1 percent in April after rising 0.2 percent in March. The decline in April was the first monthly drop since a 0.3-percent decrease in September 2017. Import prices from China increased 0.2 percent over the past 12 months and have not recorded a 12-month decrease since December 2017.
  • Japan: Prices for imports from Japan rose 0.1 percent in April after rising 0.2 percent in March and 0.3 percent in February. The price index for imports from Japan rose 0.2 percent over the past 12 months.
  • Mexico: Import prices from Mexico fell for a third consecutive month in April, declining 0.2 percent.
  • EU and Canada: The price indexes for imports from the European Union and Canada both increased 0.6 percent in April.

Trump will be happy about export prices but will moan about China, Japan, and Mexico.

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