U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes summary

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                               U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES - MARCH 2018                                

U.S. import prices recorded no change in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, 
following a 0.3-percent rise in February. Higher nonfuel prices offset declining prices for imported fuel in 
March. Prices for U.S. exports advanced 0.3 percent in March, after rising 0.2 percent the previous month.

Imports

All Imports: Import prices recorded no change in March following rises of 0.3 percent in February and 0.8 
percent in January. The index has not declined on a monthly basis since decreasing 0.2 percent in July 2017. 
Prices for U.S. imports rose 3.6 percent between March 2017 and March 2018. The last 12-month decline in 
import prices was a 0.2-percent drop for the period ended October 2016.

Fuel Imports: Fuel prices fell for the second consecutive month, declining 1.6 percent in March following a 
1.0-percent drop in February. The March decrease was the largest monthly decline since the index dropped 
3.6 percent in June 2017. Lower prices for both petroleum and natural gas drove the decline in fuel prices. 
Prices for imported petroleum declined 1.3 percent and natural gas fell 9.5 percent. Despite the decrease in 
March, fuel import prices advanced 18.7 percent between March 2017 and March 2018. The price index for 
petroleum imports rose 19.4 percent over the past 12 months. Prices for imported natural gas increased 20.0 
percent over the same period.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Prices for nonfuel imports rose 0.2 percent in March, following increases of 
0.5 percent in February and January. Contributing to the March advance were higher import prices for 
nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; capital goods; and foods, feeds, and beverages, which more than 
offset declining prices for automotive vehicles and consumer goods. Nonfuel import prices advanced 2.1 
percent on a 12-month basis for the second consecutive month, the largest over-the-year increases since a 
2.4-percent advance in February 2012. An 8.0-percent rise in nonfuel industrial supplies and materials 
prices drove the 12-month advance in March.

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

March

-0.2 -3.0 0.2 0.1 1.1 0.0

April

0.2 -0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.3

May

-0.1 -0.9 0.1 -0.6 -1.6 -0.4

June

-0.2 -3.6 0.1 -0.1 -1.4 0.0

July

-0.2 -1.0 -0.1 0.5 1.8 0.3

August

0.6 4.0 0.3 0.6 0.0 0.7

September

0.8 5.7 0.3 0.8 -0.7 0.9

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 (r)0.0

2018

January

0.8 (r)3.4 0.5 (r)0.7 (r)0.0 (r)0.9

February

(r)0.3 (r)-1.0 0.5 0.2 0.6 0.2

March

0.0 -1.6 0.2 0.3 3.4 -0.1

Mar. 2016 to 2017

4.1 50.9 0.9 3.4 5.4 3.2

Mar. 2017 to 2018

3.6 18.7 2.1 3.4 3.0 3.4

Footnotes
(r) Revised

Exports

All Exports: Prices for U.S. exports rose for the ninth consecutive month in March, advancing 0.3 percent. 
Increasing prices for agricultural exports drove the monthly advance, more than offsetting lower 
nonagricultural export prices. U.S. export prices increased 3.4 percent over the 12-month period ended in 
March and have not recorded an over-the-year drop since a 0.2-percent decline in November 2016.

Agricultural Exports: The price index for agricultural exports advanced 3.4 percent in March following a 
0.6-percent rise in February. The March increase is the largest monthly advance since agricultural export 
prices rose 4.8 percent in August 2012. Higher prices for soybeans and wheat contributed to the monthly 
advance, increasing 7.8 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively. The price index for agricultural exports rose 
3.0 percent over the past 12 months, driven by a 6.5-percent increase in meat prices.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture: Nonagricultural export prices ticked down 0.1 percent in March, after 
rising 0.2 percent in February and 0.9 percent in January. Declining prices for nonagricultural industrial 
supplies and materials more than offset increases in capital goods and automotive vehicles export prices. 
Prices for nonagricultural exports advanced 3.4 percent between March 2017 and March 2018, as the price 
indexes for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, consumer goods, and 
automotive vehicles all increased.

                                           SELECTED MARCH HIGHLIGHTS                                            

Import Prices

Imports by Locality of Origin: Import prices from China rose for the second consecutive month in March, 
edging up 0.1 percent. The price index for imports from China increased 0.2 percent over the past 12 
months and has not recorded a 12-month decrease since December 2017. Prices for imports from Japan rose 
0.2 percent in March following increases of 0.2 percent in February and 0.5 percent in January. Despite the 
advance in March, the price index for imports from Japan edged down 0.1 percent over the past 12 months. 
The price index for imports from the European Union rose 0.1 percent in March and import prices from 
Mexico advanced 0.2 percent, after decreasing 0.5 percent the previous month. In contrast, prices for 
imports from Canada fell 0.2 percent in March.

Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Import prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials 
increased 1.0 percent in March, after a 0.8-percent rise in February. Higher prices for iron and steel mill 
products and lumber each contributed to the March advance, rising 4.0 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively.

Finished Goods: Major finished goods prices were mixed in March. Import capital goods prices increased 
0.2 percent, driven by a 0.4-percent increase in prices for computers, peripherals, and semiconductors. In 
contrast, the price index for automotive vehicles decreased 0.2 percent and import prices for consumer 
goods declined 0.1 percent in March.

Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: The import price index for foods, feeds, and beverages rose 0.6 percent in 
March following increases of 1.0 percent in February and 0.7 percent in January. Higher prices for 
vegetables drove the monthly advance, more than offsetting lower fruit prices.

Transportation Services: Import air passenger fares decreased 6.5 percent in March, after a 0.9-percent 
rise in February. In March, a 14.6-percent drop in European fares more than offset increases of 2.3 percent 
in Latin American/Caribbean fares and 0.1 percent in Asian fares. Despite the monthly decrease, import air 
passenger fares advanced 1.5 percent over the past year. Prices for import air freight recorded no change in 
March and rose 11.4 percent over the past 12 months.

Export Prices

Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: Nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials 
prices fell 0.5 percent in March, after rising 0.2 percent the previous month. Lower fuel prices drove the 
decrease, more than offsetting increasing prices for chemicals and iron and steel products.

Finished Goods: Prices for the major finished goods categories were mostly up in March. Capital goods 
prices and automotive vehicles prices each ticked up 0.1 percent, and consumer goods prices recorded no 
change following a 0.4-percent rise in February. 

Transportation Services: Export air passenger fares rose 4.2 percent in March following a 7.9-percent 
decrease the previous month. The March increase was primarily driven by higher European and Asian fares. 
The price index for export air passenger fares advanced 2.4 percent between March 2017 and March 2018. 
Export air freight prices increased 4.3 percent in March and 4.4 percent over the past year. Prices for export 
air freight have not recorded a 12-month decline since falling 1.1 percent for the year ended February 2017.
		
Import and Export Price Index data for April are scheduled for release on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. 
(EDT).

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Last Modified Date: April 12, 2018