Seoul: Price for imported goods to South Korea kept rising last month due to higher price for raw materials, especially crude oil, central bank data showed Thursday.
The import price index reached 148.80 in March, marking the highest since relevant data began to be compiled in 1971, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). It was up 7.3 percent from the previous month, logging the fastest increase in almost 14 years since May 2008.
The index continued to gain for the third consecutive month. Price for imported raw materials jumped 13.7 percent in March from a month earlier. Dubai crude, South Korea’s benchmark, averaged 110.93 U.S. dollars per barrel in March, up from 92.36 dollars in February.
Import price for coal and oil products surged 19.1 percent, and the reading for primary metal products advanced 5.5 percent. Price for imported capital and consumer goods added 0.7 percent and 1.3 percent each last month.
The export price index came in at 125.03 in March, up 5.7 percent from a month earlier. It marked the highest since April 2009.