All Imports: Import prices advanced 0.3 percent in September after falling 0.2 percent the previous month. Overall, import prices have not changed by more than 0.6 percent in any month since rising 2.6 percent in April. Higher prices for both fuel and nonfuel imports contributed to the September advance. The price index for overall imports increased 13.4 percent over the past 12 months, led by a sharp rise in fuel prices. A 5.5 percent advance in nonfuel prices also contributed to the overall increase.
Fuel Imports: Fuel prices ticked up 0.1 percent in September, but declined in three of the past five months, falling 4.1 percent over that period. Despite the recent decreases, fuel prices rose 43.4 percent for the year ended in September. For September, import petroleum prices advanced 0.3 percent after falling 1.6 percent in August. Petroleum prices increased 45.9 percent over the past 12 months. Natural gas prices declined 4.8 percent in September, yet rose 9.2 percent for the September 2010-11 period.
All Imports Excluding Fuel: Prices for nonfuel imports increased 0.2 percent in September. Rising nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices were the largest contributor to the higher nonfuel prices, although foods, feeds, and beverages prices and prices for each of the major finished goods categories all recorded increases for the month. The price index for nonfuel imports rose 5.5 percent over the past year. The largest previous year-over-year advance was 6.1 percent for the year ended September 2008.
All Exports: Export prices increased 0.4 percent in September after rising a similar 0.5 percent in August, resuming an upward trend following a 0.3 percent downturn in July. Higher prices for agricultural and nonagricultural exports each contributed to the advance. Prices for U.S. exports rose 9.5 percent over the past year. Despite increasing in August and September, the 12-month increase in export prices is less than the recent peak of 10.1 percent recorded in June.
Agricultural Exports: Prices for agricultural exports rose 1.6 percent in September after a 2.1 percent increase the previous month. For the second consecutive month, higher prices for wheat, corn, and soybeans,up 13.3 percent, 5.2 percent, and 3.6 percent, respectively, in September drove the overall advance. Agricultural prices increased 22.9 percent over the past year, led by rising prices for corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton.
All Exports Excluding Agriculture: The price index for nonagricultural exports advanced 0.3 percent for the second consecutive month in September. The increase was led by higher prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials, while finished goods prices were mixed. Prices for nonagricultural exports rose 8.0 percent over the past year.
SELECTED SEPTEMBER HIGHLIGHTS
Nonfuel Industrial Supplies and Materials: Prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials increased 0.7 percent in September following a 0.9 percent advance the previous month. A 0.9 percent advance in unfinished metals prices was the largest contributor to the September rise in the price index for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices. Higher prices for gold and other precious metals more than offset price declines for aluminum, copper, nickel, zinc, and tin.
Finished Goods: Consumer goods prices rose 0.3 percent for the fourth consecutive month in September. Prices for consumer goods advanced 2.4 percent over the past year, the largest 12-month increase since a 2.8 percent rise for the year ended October 2008. The price indexes for capital goods and automotive vehicles each increased in September, ticking up 0.1 percent.
Foods, Feeds, and Beverages: Prices for foods, feeds, and beverages advanced 0.5 percent in September after declining 0.7 percent in August. Coffee prices, which fell 12.7 percent in August, rose 11.4 percent in September. The overall price index for foods, feeds, and beverages increased 14.4 percent over the past 12 months.
Imports by Locality of Origin: Import prices from China and the European Union each increased in September, ticking up 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. Prices for imports from China rose 3.8 percent over the past year, the largest 12-month advance since the index increased 4.3 percent in October 2008. In contrast, prices for imports from Canada fell 0.6 percent in September, while import prices from Japan and Mexico were unchanged.
Transportation Services: Import air passenger rates declined 2.1 percent in September following a 3.0 percent drop in August. The decrease was driven by a 7.9 percent fall in Latin American/Caribbean fares and a 3.4 percent decline in Asian fares. Import air freight prices edged down 0.1 percent in September after decreasing 0.2 percent in each of the two previous months.
Nonagricultural Industrial Supplies and Materials: The price index for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials rose 0.8 percent in September, similar to the 0.7 percent advance the previous month. Higher prices for nonferrous metals and steelmaking materials, up 5.1 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively, drove the September rise.
Finished Goods: Prices for consumer goods and automotive vehicles each increased 0.3 percent in September, while capital goods prices edged down 0.1 percent for the month. The price index for consumer goods rose 5.1 percent over the past year. Automotive vehicles prices advanced 2.5 percent over the same period.
Transportation Services: The index for export air passenger fares dropped 12.9 percent in September after an 8.5 percent increase the previous month. The September decrease was led by lower Asian and European fares, down 17.3 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively. In contrast, export air freight prices rose 0.5 percent, the first increase since a 3.6 percent increase in May.