According to the export and import price indices for January 2017 the Bank of Korea released on February 14, South Korea’s won-based import price index reached 84.91 last month, up 2.1% from a month ago, with respect to the reference value of 100 of 2010.
The figure for last month hit a 25-month high behind 86.54 of December 2014 and rose no less than 13.2% from a year ago. This rate of increase is the highest since October 2011, when the import price showed an increase of 14.5%. This is mainly because of an increase in oil price. The Dubai crude oil price rose from US$26.86 per barrel to US$53.71 per barrel between January 2016 and last month.
Under the circumstances, the prices of mining products, which account for 22.46% of the entire import price index, soared by 58.8% year on year. In addition, the import prices of coal, crude oil and natural gas, almost all of which are imported from abroad, jumped 61.9%. Those of chemical products manufactured by the use of crude oil and the like, which represent 11.78% of the entire index, increased 7.1% from a year earlier. Those of primary metal products, which account for 9.47%, showed a year-on-year increase of 13.3%.
Those of agricultural, forest and marine products, which have a weighted value of 38.5, are on a rapid increase as well. The import prices of these products increased by 1.9% year on year in October last year and by 5.8%, 7% and 7.2% in the following months. In the case of pork, an increasing amount of which is being imported from the United States and Canada, the import price skyrocketed by 32.1% last month.