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Economic News Release
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U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes summary

     
Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                                    USDL-21-0860
8:30 a.m. (ET) Friday, May 14, 2021

Technical information: (202) 691-7101 * MXPinfo@bls.gov * www.bls.gov/mxp
Media contact:	       (202) 691-5902 * PressOffice@bls.gov

                   U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - APRIL 2021

U.S. import prices advanced 0.7 percent in April following a 1.4-percent increase in March, the U.S. Bureau 
of Labor Statistics reported today. Higher prices for fuel and nonfuel imports contributed to both the April 
and March advances. Prices for U.S. exports increased 0.8 percent in April, after rising 2.4 percent the 
previous month.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
           Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on April 2021 Import and Export Price Index Data
The Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make changes to either the collection method or estimation 
methodology for the April 2021 release of U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes. Survey response rates for 
April 2021 were 2.3-percentage points lower than those in April 2020. Additional information is available at 
www.bls.gov/covid19/import-export-price-indexes-covid19-impacts-april-2021.htm.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Imports 

The price index for U.S. imports continued to rise in April, advancing 0.7 percent. The April increase 
followed advances of 1.4 percent in March, 1.2 percent in February, and 1.5 percent in January. In April, a 
0.7-percent rise in nonfuel import prices and a 0.5-percent increase in fuel prices both contributed to the 
overall advance. U.S. import prices rose 10.6 percent from April 2020 to April 2021, the largest over-the-
year increase for the index since an 11.1-percent advance for the year ended October 2011. (See table 1.)

Fuel Imports: Prices for import fuel rose 0.5 percent in April, after increasing 7.5 percent in March, 11.0 
percent in February, and 9.0 percent in January. In April, increasing petroleum prices more than offset 
decreasing natural gas prices. The price index for import petroleum rose 1.2 percent in April following an 
8.4-percent increase the previous month. Prices for import natural gas declined 12.1 percent in April, after a 
4.8-percent drop in March. The April decrease was the largest decline since the index fell 14.7 percent in 
October 2020. Import fuel prices advanced 126.5 percent over the past year, the largest 12-month increase 
for the index since a 145.1-percent rise for the year ended in February 2000. Prices for petroleum and 
natural gas also advanced for the year ended in April, rising 133.7 percent and 59.6 percent, respectively.    
 
All Imports Excluding Fuel: Import prices excluding fuel increased 0.7 percent in April following a 0.9-
percent advance the previous month. Higher prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; foods, 
feeds, and beverages; capital goods; and automotive vehicles all contributed to the April rise in nonfuel 
import prices. Prices for nonfuel imports advanced 5.0 percent over the past 12 months, the largest over-the-
year increase since the index rose 5.4 percent in September 2011.     

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: The price index for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials 
advanced 2.4 percent in April, after increasing 4.0 percent in March. The April rise was driven by higher 
prices for building materials, chemicals, and unfinished metals.      

Finished Goods: Prices for most of the major finished goods categories advanced in April. Capital goods 
prices increased 0.3 percent, the largest advance since the index rose 0.3 percent in February 2018. Prices 
for automotive vehicles increased 0.2 percent in April following 0.1-percent advances the previous 2 
months. Consumer goods prices recorded no change in April.     

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Foods, feeds, and beverages prices rose 2.0 percent in April, after increasing 
2.1 percent the previous month. The April advance was led by higher fruit and meat prices.      

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

2020

April

-2.6 -30.9 -0.5 -3.5 -3.3 -3.5

May

0.7 13.9 0.1 0.0 -0.4 0.0

June

1.3 20.6 0.3 1.8 1.6 1.7

July

1.2 15.2 0.2 1.0 1.6 0.9

August

0.9 3.7 0.7 0.5 -2.2 0.9

September

0.2 -4.7 0.5 0.6 2.8 0.3

October

-0.1 -1.0 0.0 0.2 3.5 -0.2

November

0.1 4.4 -0.2 0.8 3.5 0.5

December

1.0 7.3 0.4 1.2 1.0 1.3

2021

January

(r)1.5 (r)9.0 0.9 (r)2.7 6.0 2.3

February

(r)1.2 (r)11.0 (r)0.4 1.6 (r)2.7 1.5

March

(r)1.4 (r)7.5 (r)0.9 (r)2.4 2.4 (r)2.4

April

0.7 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.6 0.9

Apr. 2019 to 2020

-6.8 -56.6 -1.0 -7.0 -4.3 -7.2

Apr. 2020 to 2021

10.6 126.5 5.0 14.4 25.2 13.1

Footnotes
(r) Revised

Exports 

U.S. export prices rose 0.8 percent in April, after increasing 2.4 percent in March, 1.6 percent in February, 
and 2.7 percent in January. The price index for U.S. exports has not recorded a monthly decline since a 3.5-
percent drop in April 2020. A 0.9-percent advance in nonagricultural prices and a 0.6-percent rise in 
agricultural prices both contributed to the April increase in U.S. export prices. Prices for U.S. exports rose 
14.4 percent for the year ended in April, the largest 12-month increase since the index was first published in 
September 1983. (See table 2.)

Agricultural Exports: The price index for agricultural exports advanced 0.6 percent in April following 
rises of 2.4 percent in March, 2.7 percent in February, and 6.0 percent in January. In April, higher prices for 
other animal feeds, meat, dairy products, and vegetables more than offset lower prices for wheat, nuts, fruit, 
and cotton. Agricultural export prices increased 25.2 percent for the year ended in April, the largest 12-
month advance since the index rose 26.4 percent in July 2011. Higher prices for soybeans, corn, cotton, 
fruit, vegetables, and meat primarily drove the increase in agricultural exports over the past 12 months.                

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Prices for nonagricultural exports advanced 0.9 percent in April, after 
increases of 2.4 percent, 1.5 percent, and 2.3 percent the previous 3 months. The rise in April was led by 
higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, and automotive vehicles 
which more than offset lower prices for consumer goods. Nonagricultural prices advanced 13.1 percent from 
April 2020 to April 2021, the largest over-the-year increase since the index was first published in March 
1985.           

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices 
rose 1.8 percent in April following a 6.0-percent advance the previous month. The April increase was driven 
by a 6.9-percent rise in chemical prices which more than offset a 1.9-percent drop in fuel prices.  

Finished Goods: Prices for the major finished goods categories were mostly up in April. Capital goods 
prices advanced 0.3 percent in April, after increasing 0.2 percent in March. The April rise was led by higher 
prices for industrial and service machinery and computers, peripherals, and semiconductors. The price index 
for automotive vehicles advanced 0.2 percent in April following a 0.1-percent increase the previous month. 
In contrast, consumer goods prices edged down 0.1 percent in April.   

Measures of Import and Export Prices by Locality

Imports by Locality of Origin: Import prices from China rose 0.4 percent in April, after advancing 1.5 
percent from November to March. Prices for imports from China increased 2.1 percent for the year ended in 
April, the largest 12-month advance since a 2.6-percent rise in March 2012. The price index for imports 
from Japan advanced 0.4 percent in April following a 0.3-percent increase the previous month. The April 
rise was the largest 1-month advance since the index rose 0.5 percent in January 2018. Import prices from 
Japan increased 1.7 percent over the past 12 months, the largest over-the-year advance since a 1.9-percent 
rise in January 2012. Prices for imports from Canada increased 1.1 percent in April and import prices from 
Mexico advanced 0.7 percent. The April rises followed advances in March of 4.4 percent for import prices 
from Canada and 0.9 percent for import prices from Mexico. The price index for imports from the European 
Union also rose in April, ticking up 0.1 percent. (See table 7.)
	
Exports by Locality of Destination: Prices for exports to China advanced 0.6 percent in April, after 
increasing 3.8 percent in March. Export prices to China advanced 16.0 percent from April 2020 to April 
2021, the largest 12-month increase since the index was first published in December 2017. The price index 
for exports to Japan ticked up 0.1 percent in April following increases of 1.3 percent in March, 1.6 percent 
in February, and 2.2 percent in January. Prices for exports to Japan rose 15.2 percent over the past 12 
months, the largest over-the-year advance since the index was first published in December 2017. Export 
prices to Canada and Mexico also increased in April, rising 1.3 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. The 
price index for exports to the European Union advanced 0.2 percent in April, after increasing 1.1 percent the 
previous month. (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. U.S. terms of trade with China rose 0.2 
percent in April following a 3.4-percent advance the previous month. In April, increasing export prices to 
China more than offset rising import prices from China. The index for U.S. terms of trade with China 
advanced 13.6 percent from April 2020 to April 2021, the largest 12-month increase since the index was 
first published in December 2017. In contrast, U.S. terms of trade with Japan declined 0.4 percent in April, 
the first monthly decrease since the index fell 3.4 percent in April 2020. The index for U.S. terms of trade 
with Canada rose 0.2 percent in April, after falling 2.8 percent in March. In April, U.S. terms of trade 
advanced 1.8 percent with Mexico and 0.1 percent with the European Union. (See table 9.)

Import and Export Services

Imports: The index for import air passenger fares advanced 0.9 percent in April, after decreasing 3.6 
percent in March. In April, higher European and Latin American/Caribbean fares more than offset falling 
Asian fares. Import air passenger fares rose 8.0 percent over the past year, the first 12-month increase since 
the index advanced 1.2 percent in January 2019. Import air freight prices increased 8.3 percent in April 
following a 1.9-percent drop in March. The April advance was the largest rise since a 9.8-percent increase in 
November 2020, and import air freight prices rose 28.0 percent over the past 12 months. (See table 10.)

Exports: Export air passenger fares rose 0.2 percent in April, after declining 1.5 percent in March and 4.7 
percent in February. The index for export air passenger fares increased 26.9 percent over the past 12 
months, the largest over-the-year advance since a 30.5-percent rise in July 2010. Prices for export air freight 
fell 2.8 percent in April. Despite the decrease, export air freight prices increased 0.6 percent over the past 
year.     
		
U.S. Import and Export Price Index data for May are scheduled for release on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 
8:30 a.m. (ET).

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Last Modified Date: May 14, 2021