August 15, 2017 – Import prices tell us the cost of products that are produced abroad and purchased in the U.S., while exports are goods produced in the U.S. but purchased abroad.
Import prices in July increased 0.1%, in line with expectations and up from June’s decrease of 0.2%. These past 12 months import prices increased by 1.5%. Export prices spiked 0.4% in June, beating expectations of a 0.2% gain. Export prices year-over-year have risen by 0.8%.
Import prices had a month of increase due to petroleum imports up 0.7% while non-fuel imports experienced no change. Exports jumped due to a 2.1% increase in agricultural products while non-agricultural prices remained flat. The gap between the imports and exports narrowed in July to -0.5 from -0.9. The large boost to agricultural exports can be attributed to harvest season in sight with some crops already being harvested. The foods, feeds, and beverages categories held up the increase in import prices of 0.6% in July, with vegetables and feed ingredients prices contributing the most.