South Korea's index of import prices rose for the sixth month in a row in June on a weakening local currency, but a slowdown in oil prices retarded the upside pace, central bank data showed Friday.
In Korean won terms, the import price index gained 1.3 percent to 88.26 last month from a month earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK). From a year earlier, it jumped 10.9 percent.
The index has been on a steady rise since January, when it snapped a two-month losing streak.
The BOK said that a global trend of a strengthening U.S. dollar pushed up South Korea's import prices. In June, the Korean won hit an average 1,092.8 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.5 percent from a month earlier.
In U.S. dollar terms, excluding the foreign exchange effect, the index fell 0.1 percent from a month earlier.
But crude oil prices fell slightly to offset the increase stemming from the weakening won. Dubai crude, South Korea's benchmark, edged down 1.1 percent on-month to an average of US$73.61 last month.
Meanwhile, export prices in terms of local currency edged up 0.9 percent in June on increasing metal and machinery prices.
South Korea's exports retreated 0.1 percent last month, while imports soared 12.7 percent. (Yonhap)
Kim Jung-mi firstname.lastname@example.org
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