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U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                                     USDL-19-1983
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, November 15, 2019

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                        U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - OCTOBER 2019

U.S. import prices fell 0.5 percent in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, following 
a 0.1-percent increase the previous month. The decrease in October was driven by lower petroleum prices, 
which declined 3.7 percent; prices for all imports excluding petroleum fell 0.1 percent. The price index for 
U.S. exports decreased 0.1 percent in October, after declining 0.2 percent in September.


Imports

Prices for U.S. imports decreased 0.5 percent in October, after rising 0.1 percent in September and declining 
0.6 percent in August. The U.S. import price index declined 3.0 percent from October 2018 to October 
2019. The 3.0-percent 12-month decrease was the largest over-the-year decline since the index fell 3.7 
percent during the period ended July 2016. (See table 1.)

Fuel Imports: Import fuel prices declined 2.9 percent in October after increasing 1.5 percent the previous 
month. A 3.7-percent drop in petroleum prices drove the October decrease, more than offsetting a 32.0-
percent increase in natural gas prices. Fuel prices declined 13.7 percent over the past year. Prices for import 
petroleum fell 14.7 percent for the year ended in October and natural gas prices declined 1.6 percent over 
the same period.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Prices for nonfuel imports declined 0.2 percent in October following 2 
consecutive monthly decreases. Falling prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; foods, feeds, 
and beverages; consumer goods; and capital goods all contributed to the October decline. The price index 
for nonfuel imports declined 1.4 percent over the past 12 months, driven primarily by a 1.6-percent drop in 
capital goods prices and a 3.0-percent decrease in prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials.

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials decreased 0.9 
percent in October, after increasing 0.5 percent in September. The drop in October was driven by a 2.2-
percent decrease in prices for unfinished metals.

Finished Goods: Prices for imported finished goods mostly decreased in October. The price indexes for both 
consumer and capital goods declined 0.1 percent in October after each decreased 0.1 percent in September. 
The price index for automotive vehicles was unchanged in October after declining 0.1 percent the previous 
month.

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: The price index for import foods, feeds, and beverages fell 0.4 percent in 
October following a 0.8-percent decrease in September. A 3.6-percent decrease in vegetable prices led the 
October decline.

Table A. Percent change in Import and Export Price Indexes, selected categories

Month IMPORTS EXPORTS
All
imports
Fuel
imports
Nonfuel
imports
All
exports
Agri-
cultural
exports
Non-
agricultural
exports

2018

October

0.5 3.3 0.1 0.5 -0.1 0.5

November

-1.6 -12.2 -0.2 -0.8 1.7 -1.0

December

-1.4 -13.3 0.0 -0.6 3.8 -1.1

2019

January

0.2 4.6 -0.3 -0.6 -2.1 -0.4

February

1.0 10.2 0.1 0.6 0.2 0.7

March

0.6 7.2 -0.2 0.7 0.9 0.7

April

0.2 1.9 -0.1 0.1 -1.4 0.2

May

0.2 3.6 -0.3 -0.3 -1.1 -0.2

June

-1.1 -7.8 -0.3 -0.6 2.4 -0.9

July

0.0 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.2

August

(r)-0.6 (r)-4.4 (r)-0.1 -0.6 (r)-2.4 -0.3

September

(r)0.1 (r)1.5 -0.1 -0.2 (r)-1.7 -0.1

October

-0.5 -2.9 -0.2 -0.1 1.9 -0.3

Oct. 2017 to 2018

3.4 29.3 0.6 3.1 -4.1 3.9

Oct. 2018 to 2019

-3.0 -13.7 -1.4 -2.2 2.2 -2.7

Footnotes
(r) Revised

Exports 

The price index for U.S. exports decreased 0.1 percent in October following a 0.2-percent drop in 
September and a 0.6-percent decrease in August. Price decreases for nonagricultural exports in October 
offset increased prices for agricultural exports. Overall export prices declined 2.2 percent over the past year, 
the largest 12-month decrease in the index since a 2.4-percent drop in August 2016. (See table 2.)

Agricultural Exports: Agricultural export prices increased 1.9 percent in October, after falling 1.7 percent 
the previous month. A 4.9-percent increase in soybean prices drove the October advance. Agricultural 
export prices increased 2.2 percent from October 2018 to October 2019.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Prices for nonagricultural exports decreased 0.3 percent in October 
following a 0.1-percent drop in September and a 0.3-percent decline in August. Price declines for 
nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, and consumer goods led the October 
decrease. The price index for nonagricultural exports fell 2.7 percent during the 12 months ended in 
October, the largest over-the-year decline since a 3.0-percent drop in July 2016. Lower prices for 
nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials led the October 12-month drop.

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: The price index for nonagricultural industrial supplies 
and materials decreased 0.6 percent in October following a 0.2-percent drop in September. The October 
decline was driven by lower prices for paper, chemicals, and nonferrous metals. Nonagricultural industrial 
supplies and materials prices fell 8.4 percent over the past year, the largest 12-month drop since a 9.8-
percent decline in June 2016.

Finished Goods: Prices for export finished goods were mostly down in October. Capital goods prices fell 
0.3 percent; consumer goods prices decreased 0.2 percent; and prices for automotive vehicles were 
unchanged. The October decline in capital goods prices was led by a 1.5-percent drop in the price index for 
computers, peripherals, and semiconductors. Consumer goods prices were driven down by lower prices for 
household goods.

Measures of Import and Export Prices by Locality

Imports by Locality of Origin: Prices for imports from China decreased 0.1 percent in October, after 
falling 0.1 percent in each of the 2 previous months; import prices from China have not increased on a 
monthly basis since advancing 0.1 percent in May 2018. The price index for imports from China declined 
1.6 percent over the past year. Import prices from Japan edged up 0.1 percent in October following a 
decrease of 0.1 percent in September. Import prices from Japan increased 0.2 percent over the past 12 
months. Prices for imports from the European Union decreased 0.1 percent in October, after increasing 0.1 
percent the previous month. The price index for imports from Canada decreased 1.5 percent in October, the 
largest monthly decline since falling 4.4 percent in June 2019. Import prices from Canada rose 2.2 percent 
over the past year. Prices for imports from Mexico declined 0.3 percent in October following a 0.2-percent 
drop in September. (See table 7.)

Exports by Locality of Destination: Prices for exports to China declined 0.2 percent in October, after 
edging down 0.1 percent in September. Export prices to China fell 1.6 percent over the past year. Prices for 
exports to Japan rose 0.7 percent in October following a 0.3-percent increase the previous month. The price 
index for exports to Japan advanced 0.5 percent over the past year. Prices for exports to the European Union 
decreased 0.4 percent in October. Despite the October decline, export prices to the European Union rose 0.8 
percent over the past 12 months. The price index for exports to Canada increased 0.2 percent in October and 
export prices to Mexico decreased 0.2 percent. (See table 8.)

Terms of Trade Indexes: Terms of Trade indexes are based on country, region, or grouping and measure 
the change in the purchasing power of exports relative to imports. The U.S. terms of trade with China 
decreased 0.1 percent in October, after recording no change in September. In October, lower export prices to 
China more than offset price declines for imports from China. The index for U.S. terms of trade with China 
was unchanged from October 2018 to October 2019. U.S. terms of trade with Japan increased 0.5 percent in 
October following a 0.4-percent advance in September. The U.S. terms of trade with Japan rose 0.2 percent 
over the year ended in October. The index for U.S. terms of trade with the European Union decreased 0.3 
percent in October, after declining 0.1 percent the previous month. The U.S terms of trade with Mexico 
ticked up 0.1 percent in October and decreased 1.3 percent over the past 12 months. U.S. terms of trade with 
Canada increased 1.7 percent in October and declined 2.6 percent over the past year. (See table 9.)

Import and Export Services

Imports: Import air passenger fares rose 3.4 percent in October following a 9.1-percent advance in 
September. Higher Asian fares drove the October increase. Import air passenger fares fell 4.9 percent over 
the 12 months ended in October. Import air freight prices increased 1.4 percent in October and fell 9.2 
percent over the past year. (See table 10.)

Exports: The index for export air passenger fares declined 2.1 percent in October, after a 5.2-percent 
decrease the previous month. Lower Asian, Latin American/Caribbean, and European fares contributed to 
the October decline. Export air passenger fares fell 3.6 percent from October 2018 to October 2019. Export 
air freight prices increased 0.4 percent in October following a 1.4-percent drop in September. Prices for 
export air freight declined 1.5 percent over the past 12 months, the largest over-the-year decrease since a 
2.9-percent drop in November 2018.
		
Import and Export Price Index data for November are scheduled for release on Friday, December 13, 2019 at 
8:30 a.m. (EST).

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Last Modified Date: November 15, 2019