South Korea’s export prices fall

Seoul, Oct 13 (IANS) The prices for South Korea’s export products have decreased in the five months this year due to lower prices of electronics and chemical products, central bank data showed on Tuesday.

The export price index stood at 85.26 in September, down 0.6 percent from the previous month and 1.9 percent from a year earlier, Xinhua news agency cited from the Bank of Korea data. It marked the first monthly decline in five months.

The won/dollar exchange rate averaged at 1,184.76 won per dollar in September, up 0.5 percent from the prior month.

The higher exchange rate usually bolsters up export prices when repatriated, but the September figure was down due to cheaper electronics and chemical products.

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics disclosed the latest editions of their flagship smartphones much cheaper than their previous versions amid stiffer competition with top-end devices like Apple’s iPhone and lower-end Chinese outfits including Xiaomi.

Export prices for chemical products slumped 1.6 percent in September from a month earlier due to cheaper crude oil, with those for electrical and electronic products falling 1.3 percent.

The import price index came in at 80.91 in September, down 0.5 percent from a month ago. It kept a downward trend for three months in a row.

Prices for Dubai crude, South Korea’s benchmark, averaged $45.77 per barrel in September, down from $47.76 in August.

Import prices for farm goods and mining products shrank 0.4 percent and 1.6 percent each last month on a monthly basis, with those for imported coal and oil products declining 4.3 percent.

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