South Korea's import prices declined 3.3 percent last month due to lower oil prices and the local currency's ascent against the U.S. dollar, data by the central bank showed Thursday.
In local currency terms, import prices retreated 3.3 percent in October from a month earlier, down from a 0.9 percent rise tallied in the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). From a year before, the prices dropped 6.4 percent, the lowest since November 2009 when it recorded a 7.5 percent plunge.
The price fall was attributable to falling oil prices and the local currency's appreciation versus the dollar. Dubai crude, South Korea's benchmark, averaged 109 dollars a barrel in October, down 2 percent from the previous month. The South Korean won appreciated more than 7 percent against the greenback compared with the late May's bottom.
Prices in raw materials imported from overseas dropped 5.1 percent in October from a month before. Farm goods prices fell 0.8 percent last month, with mining product prices tumbling 5.5 percent.
Intermediate goods prices declined 2.1 percent on-month in October, down from a 0.9 percent gain for September. Oil product prices retreated 2.7 percent last month, with chemical and steel product prices sliding by 1.1 percent and 3.3 percent each.
Prices for capital goods slid 1.8 percent on-month in October, with consumer goods prices declining 1.5 percent over the same period.
In contract currency terms, import prices declined 1.8 percent on-month in October. From a year earlier, the prices fell 1.9 percent last month.