U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                                      USDL-18-1825
8:30 a.m. (EST) Thursday, November 15, 2018

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 - OCTOBER 2018                               

Prices for U.S. imports increased 0.5 percent in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, 
after advancing 0.2 percent in September. Higher fuel and nonfuel prices contributed to the October 
increase. U.S. export prices advanced 0.4 percent in October after recording no change in September. 

Imports

Import prices advanced 0.5 percent in October, the largest monthly increase since a 0.9-percent rise in May. 
Prices for U.S. imports rose 3.5 percent from October 2017 to October 2018 and have not recorded an over-
the-year decrease in 2 years when the index declined 0.2 in October 2016. (See table 1.)  

Fuel Imports: The price index for import fuels increased 3.3 percent in October, after advancing 0.7 
percent in September; the rise was the largest monthly advance since a 6.1-percent increase in May. Higher 
prices for both petroleum and natural gas contributed to the advance in October. Prices for petroleum 
increased 2.8 percent in October after rising 0.9 percent the previous month. Natural gas prices rose 24.6 
percent in October, the largest monthly increase since a 25.7-percent advance in November 2017. Fuel 
prices increased 30.3 percent for the year ended in October, led by a 31.4-percent advance in petroleum 
prices. The price index for natural gas rose 24.6 percent over the past 12 months.  

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Nonfuel import prices advanced 0.2 percent in October, after recording no 
change in September. Higher prices for foods, feeds, and beverages drove the October advance and more 
than offset decreasing prices for capital goods; consumer goods; and nonfuel industrial supplies and 
materials. The price index for nonfuel imports increased 0.7 percent over the past 12 months. The over-the-
year advance was driven mostly by a 3.4-percent rise in nonfuel industrial supplies and materials, as well as 
higher prices for consumer goods and automotive vehicles. In contrast, prices for capital goods and foods, 
feeds, and beverages fell over the past year.   

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices decreased 0.1 
percent in October after declining 0.4 percent in September. The October decrease was driven by lower 
prices for selected building materials and finished metals.   

Finished Goods: Finished goods prices were little changed in October. Capital goods and consumer goods 
prices both edged down 0.1 percent and the price index for automotive vehicles ticked up 0.1 percent.  

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Import prices for foods, feeds, and beverages rose 2.2 percent in October, 
after advancing 2.0 percent in September. The October increase was led by a 30.6-percent rise in vegetable 
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

2017

October

0.2 0.3 0.1 0.1 2.0 -0.1

November

1.0 9.8 0.0 0.5 -0.7 0.7

December

0.2 3.3 -0.2 0.1 -0.3 0.0

2018

January

0.8 3.3 0.5 0.7 0.0 0.8

February

0.2 -1.8 0.4 0.2 0.6 0.2

March

-0.2 -2.6 0.1 0.4 3.2 0.1

April

0.5 4.0 0.1 0.5 -1.1 0.7

May

0.9 6.1 0.2 0.7 1.6 0.6

June

0.0 2.6 -0.3 0.2 -1.0 0.3

July

-0.1 (r)0.8 -0.2 -0.5 -5.2 0.1

August

-0.4 (r)-2.1 -0.2 (r)-0.1 0.3 -0.2

September

(r)0.2 (r)0.7 0.0 0.0 (r)-1.3 0.2

October

0.5 3.3 0.2 0.4 -0.3 0.5

Oct. 2016 to 2017

2.4 12.4 1.4 2.7 3.6 2.6

Oct. 2017 to 2018

3.5 30.3 0.7 3.1 -4.5 3.9

Footnotes
(r) Revised

Exports 

U.S. export prices advanced 0.4 percent in October, after recording no change in September. The October 
advance was the largest monthly increase since the index rose 0.7 percent in May. Higher nonagricultural 
prices more than offset decreasing agricultural prices. For the 12-month period ended in October, U.S. 
export prices advanced 3.1 percent. (See table 2.)  

Agricultural Exports: Agricultural export prices fell 0.3 percent in October after declining 6.1 percent over 
the previous 3 months. The October drop in agricultural prices was led by lower nut and cotton prices, 
which fell 4.6 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively. The price index for agricultural exports decreased 4.5 
percent over the past year, the largest decline since the index fell 5.2 percent in May 2016. Falling prices for 
soybeans, nuts, and meat all contributed to the 12-month decrease.    

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Prices for nonagricultural exports rose 0.5 percent in October 
following a 0.2-percent increase in September. Higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and 
materials drove the October advance; rising automotive vehicles prices also contributed to the increase. In 
contrast, consumer goods prices fell in October. The price index for nonagricultural exports increased 3.9 
percent over the past 12 months and has not recorded an over-the-year decline since the index decreased 0.2 
percent in November 2016. 

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices 
advanced 1.7 percent in October, after rising 0.2 percent in September. The October increase was led by 
higher prices for fuels and paper.

Finished Goods: Finished goods prices were mixed in October. The price index for consumer goods 
declined 0.2 percent, automotive vehicles prices ticked up 0.1 percent, and the price index for capital goods 
recorded no change. The decrease in consumer goods prices was driven by lower prices for household goods 
and the increase in prices for automotive vehicles was led by a 0.4-percent advance in prices for vehicles 
designed to transport goods.

Measures of Import and Export Prices by Locality

Imports by Locality of Origin: Import prices from China edged down 0.1 percent after recording no 
change in September and declining 0.2 percent in August. Despite the recent decreases, import prices from 
China advanced 0.3 percent from October 2017 to October 2018. Prices for imports from Japan rose 0.1 
percent in October, the first monthly increase since the index rose 0.2 percent in July. Import prices from 
Japan advanced 1.3 percent for the year ended in October, the largest 12-month increase since the index rose 
1.4 percent in March 2017. Import prices from the European Union advanced 0.2 percent in October, the 
largest increase since the index rose 0.3 percent in May. The price indexes for imports from Canada and 
Mexico also increased in October, advancing 1.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. Higher fuel prices 
contributed to both increases. (See table 7.)

Exports by Locality of Destination: Export prices to China increased 1.0 percent in October, after 
declining 1.7 percent in September. The October advance was the largest rise since the index increased 1.2 
percent in March. The index for export prices to Japan rose 0.2 percent in October. The price index for 
exports to Mexico advanced 1.1 percent in October, the largest increase since the index rose 1.2 percent in 
January. Export prices to Canada rose 0.4 percent, after a 0.4-percent increase the previous month. Those 
were the largest monthly increases since a 0.8-percent advance in May. The price index for exports to the 
European Union increased 0.3 percent in October, matching the rise in May. The last time the index 
advanced by more than 0.3 percent was a 0.7-percent advance in April. (See table 8.)     

Terms of Trade Indexes: Terms of Trade indexes are based on the country, region, or grouping and 
measure the change in the purchasing power of exports relative to imports. The U.S. terms of trade index 
with China rose 1.1 percent in October following a 1.7-percent decline in September. The October increase 
resulted from both the export price index to China rising and prices for imports from China decreasing. The 
index for U.S. terms of trade with Japan ticked up 0.1 percent in October after declining 0.1 percent the 
previous month. The U.S. terms of trade index with Canada declined 0.9 percent, the largest decrease since 
the index fell 2.4 percent in May. The U.S. terms of trade index with Mexico advanced 0.7 percent in 
October. The index for U.S. terms of trade with the European Union ticked up 0.1 percent following a 0.2-
percent advance in September. (See table 9.)

Import and Export Services

Imports: Import air passenger fares increased 0.7 percent in October, after advancing 10.7 percent in 
September. A 2.8-percent increase in European fares, a 0.7-percent advance in Asian fares, and a 1.7-
percent rise in Latin American/Caribbean fares all contributed to the overall increase for air passenger fares 
in October. Despite the monthly advances in October and September, import air passenger fares fell 2.2 
percent over the past year; the drop was the largest 12-month decline since a 3.7-percent decrease in 
September 2017. Import air freight prices rose 2.4 percent in October and 10.5 percent over the past 12 
months. (See table 10.)  

Exports: Export air passenger fares declined 1.8 percent in October, after decreasing 2.8 percent in 
September and 3.7 percent in August. The October decrease was driven by a 6.0-percent decline in Asian 
fares and a 2.0-percent drop in Latin American/Caribbean fares. The index for export air passenger fares 
decreased 2.9 percent from October 2017 to October 2018. Prices for export air freight rose 0.5 percent in 
October and declined 1.0 percent over the past year.           
		
Import and Export Price Index data for November are scheduled for release on Thursday, December 13, 2018 
at 8:30 a.m. (EST).

The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: November 15, 2018