Prices of imported goods in South Korea rose to the highest in seven months due to higher global oil prices and the local currency's fall to the U.S. dollar, central bank data showed on Wednesday.
The import price index stood at 77.43 in May, up 3.5 percent from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). It marked the highest since October last year.
The higher import prices were attributed to higher import costs of crude oil and the South Korean currency's weakness to the dollar.
Dubai crude, South Korea's benchmark, averaged 44.26 U.S. dollars per barrel in May, up 13.5 percent from the prior month. The won/dollar exchange rate was traded at 1,171.51 won per dollar on average in May, up from 1,147.51 won in April.
Prices for imported raw materials jumped 6.9 percent last month on a monthly basis, with import prices in capital and consumer goods rising 1.6 percent and 1.7 percent respectively.
In contract currency terms, import prices gained 1.4 percent in May from a month ago.
Meanwhile, the export price index came in at 80.45 in May, up 2.4 percent from the previous month. It was the first rebound in three months.
Export prices for coal and oil products surged 14.1 percent, with those for exported farm goods gaining 2.2 percent.