The Bank of Korea announced on December 15 that the export price index reached 83.99 last month, up 4.1% from a month ago and showing a rate of increase of more than 4% for the first time in seven years and nine months. The index increased by 3.8% compared to the same month of the previous year, too.
This can be attributed to the continuation of the strong dollar with an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve being around the corner. The average won-dollar exchange rate rose 3.2% in a month from 1,125.28 won per U.S. dollar to 1,161.64 won per U.S. dollar.
The export price index of primary metal products rose 6.9% while those of electrical and electronics equipment and chemical products increased by 5.6% and 4.2%, respectively. The percentage was 2.9% for transporting equipment, 2.5% for general machinery and negative 1.4% for coal and petrochemical products.
In the meantime, the import price index for last month reached 79.74, up 2.4% from a month earlier and up 3.6% from a year earlier. The rate of increase was 6.4% for primary metal products, 3.4% for primary industry products, 3.2% for electrical and electronics and 3.2% for chemical products.