U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes summary

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

U.S. import prices advanced 0.2 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, after 
increasing 0.6 percent in March. The April advance was driven by higher fuel prices, which more than offset 
decreasing prices for nonfuel imports. Prices for U.S. exports rose 0.2 percent in April after a 0.6-percent 
rise in March. 


Imports

The price index for U.S. imports rose 0.2 percent in April, continuing the upward trend that began in 
January. The April rise followed a 0.6-percent advance in March and a 1.0-percent increase in February. 
Despite the recent monthly advances, import prices declined 0.2 percent for the 12-month period ended in 
April. The April year-over-year decrease was driven by lower nonfuel prices. (See table 1.) 

Fuel Imports: The price index for fuel imports rose 2.5 percent in April, after increasing 6.9 percent in 
March and 10.2 percent in February. A 6.1-percent rise in petroleum prices drove the increase in fuel prices. 
Natural gas prices declined 53.7 percent in April, the largest decrease since the index was first published on 
a monthly basis in December 1994. Fuel prices rose 6.9 percent over the past 12 months. The price index for 
petroleum increased 7.0 percent for the year ended in April, and prices for natural gas declined 10.5 percent 
over the same period. The 12-month decrease in natural gas prices was the largest decline since the index 
fell 27.3 percent in June 2018.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: The price index for nonfuel imports edged down 0.1 percent in April, after 
falling 0.2 percent in March. In April, falling prices for finished goods and nonfuel industrial supplies and 
materials more than offset an increase in prices for foods, feeds, and beverages. Nonfuel import prices 
declined 0.9 percent from April 2018 to April 2019, the largest 12-month drop since the index fell 0.9 
percent for the year ended August 2016. All of the major import categories except foods, feeds, and 
beverages contributed to the decrease in nonfuel prices over the past year. 

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices edged down 0.1 
percent in April after recording no change the previous month. The April decrease was driven by declining 
prices for building materials and chemicals which more than offset rising prices for unfinished metals.

Finished Goods: Prices for imported finished goods were down in April. The price index for capital goods 
declined 0.4 percent, and consumer goods and automotive vehicles prices decreased 0.3 percent and 0.1 
percent, respectively.  

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: The price index for foods, feeds, and beverages rose 2.8 percent in April, the 
largest monthly advance since the index increased 3.1 percent in July 2016. The April advance was driven 
by higher prices for fruit, vegetables, and meat.

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

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 0.8 -0.2 -0.5 -5.2 0.1

August

-0.4 -2.1 -0.2 -0.1 0.4 -0.2

September

0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 -1.3 0.2

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

(r)0.2 (r)4.6 -0.3 -0.6 -2.1 -0.4

February

1.0 (r)10.2 (r)0.1 0.7 0.2 (r)0.7

March

0.6 (r)6.9 -0.2 (r)0.6 (r)1.0 0.7

April

0.2 2.5 -0.1 0.2 -1.5 0.4

Apr. 2017 to 2018

3.5 21.5 1.7 3.7 1.6 3.9

Apr. 2018 to 2019

-0.2 6.9 -0.9 0.3 -2.8 0.7

Footnotes
(r) Revised


Exports 

The price index for U.S. exports advanced 0.2 percent in April, after increasing 0.6 percent in March and 0.7 
percent in February. Rising prices for nonagricultural exports led the overall advance in April and more than 
offset a decline in prices for agricultural exports. U.S. export prices rose 0.3 percent over the 12-month 
period ended in April. (See table 2.)

Agricultural Exports: The price index for agricultural exports decreased 1.5 percent in April following a 
1.0-percent advance in March. The April decline was driven by a 17.2-percent decrease in vegetable prices 
and a 6.8-percent decline in fruit prices. A 2.6-percent drop in corn prices also contributed to the overall 
decline in April. Prices for agricultural exports fell 2.8 percent over the past year. The 12-month decrease 
was led by a 14.1-percent drop in soybean prices. Lower prices for fruit, cotton, nuts, meat, and corn also 
contributed to the over-the-year decline in agricultural export prices.   

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Nonagricultural export prices rose 0.4 percent in April, after 
increasing 0.7 percent the previous month. Higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and 
materials drove the increase in nonagricultural export prices, although rising prices for automotive vehicles 
also contributed. The price index for nonagricultural exports increased 0.7 percent over the past year.

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials prices 
advanced 0.9 percent in April following a 1.9-percent rise the previous month. The April increase was led 
by a 3.6-percent rise in export prices for petroleum. The increase in prices for petroleum more than offset 
declining prices for natural gas, which fell 12.0 percent in April.  

Finished Goods: Export prices for finished goods were mostly flat in April. The price index for export 
automotive vehicles rose 0.2 percent, driven by higher prices for nonengine parts and accessories. The price 
index for capital goods recorded no change, after increasing 0.1 percent in March. Consumer goods prices 
recorded no change for the second consecutive month. 


Measures of Import and Export Prices by Locality

Imports by Locality of Origin: Prices for imports from China declined 0.2 percent in April, after recording 
no change in March. Import prices from China decreased 1.1 percent over the past 12 months, the largest 
over-the-year drop since the index fell 1.1 percent in May 2017. The price index for imports from Japan 
edged down 0.1 percent in April, after advancing 0.1 percent in both March and February. Prices for imports 
from Japan recorded no change over the past year. The price index for imports from Canada advanced 1.3 
percent in April. Higher fuel prices drove the monthly rise. Import prices from the European Union 
increased 0.1 percent in April. Prices for imports from Mexico rose 1.1 percent in April, the largest monthly 
advance since the index increased 1.5 percent in September 2017. (See table 7.)

Exports by Locality of Destination: Prices for exports to China rose 0.6 percent in April, after increasing 
0.5 percent in March. Higher prices for nonmanufactured exports led the April advance. Despite the recent 
increases, export prices to China declined 2.7 percent over the past year. The price index for exports to 
Japan increased 1.0 percent in April, after rising 0.3 percent in March and 1.2 percent in February. Despite 
the recent monthly advances, prices for exports to Japan fell 0.6 percent over the past 12 months. In April, 
export prices to Canada declined 0.8 percent and export prices to Mexico decreased 0.4 percent. The price 
index for exports to the European Union advanced 0.7 percent in April, after recording a 0.2-percent rise in 
March and a 0.7-percent increase in February. (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 
advanced 0.8 percent in April. The rise in the U.S. terms of trade with China was driven by the increase in 
export prices to China. U.S. terms of trade with Japan rose 1.0 percent in April, after advancing 0.2 percent 
and 1.1 percent the previous 2 months. The index for U.S. terms of trade with Mexico declined 1.5 percent 
in April, the largest monthly decrease since the index was first published in December 2017. U.S. terms of 
trade with Canada also declined in April, falling 2.1 percent. U.S. terms of trade with the European Union 
rose 0.7 percent in April, driven by higher export prices. (See table 9.)


Import and Export Services

Imports: Import air passenger fares declined 7.2 percent in April following decreases of 5.7 percent in 
March and 2.0 percent in February. The April decline was the largest monthly drop since the index fell 8.8 
percent in August 2018, and was led by an 11.5-percent decline in European fares. Overall import air 
passenger fares fell 10.6 percent over the past year, the largest 12-month decline since the index fell 11.6 
percent for the year ended October 2009. The price index for import air freight rose 0.7 percent in April. 
Import air freight prices decreased 7.8 percent over the past 12 months, the largest over-the-year drop since 
the index declined 9.5 percent in July 2016. (See table 10.)

Exports: Export air passenger fares decreased 1.4 percent in April. A 5.0-percent decline in Asian fares and 
a 3.2-percent fall in European fares more than offset higher Latin American/Caribbean fares. The index for 
export air passenger fares fell 3.5 percent over the past year. Export air freight prices dropped 0.4 percent in 
April and rose 1.2 percent over the past 12 months.   

Import and Export Price Index data for May are scheduled for release on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. 
(EDT).

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Last Modified Date: May 14, 2019