SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's import price growth hit an 8-month low in July due to the local currency's appreciation against the U.S. dollar, the central bank said Friday.
In local currency terms, the country's import prices rose 9.8 percent in July from a year earlier, slowing from a 10.5 percent on-year gain in June, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said in a monthly report.
The July figure marked the slowest growth since an 8.2 percent on-year advance in November 2010. From the previous month, import prices fell 1.1 percent last month.
The slower rise was mainly attributable to the South Korean won' s ascent versus the greenback, according to the BOK.
Raw material import prices decreased 0.3 percent on-month in July as the decline in agricultural product prices outweighed the rise in mining import prices, the report showed. Prices of agricultural products such as corn and wheat dropped 4.5 percent in July from a month earlier, while prices for mining products such as crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) edged up 0.1 percent last month on an on-month basis.
Intermediate goods prices slipped 1.5 percent on-month in July as most intermediate product prices showed an on-month decline. Prices of petrochemical products rose 0.3 percent in July from the previous month, but prices for chemical products and steel products dropped 1.7 percent and 1.2 percent respectively.
In U.S. dollar terms, import prices surged 23.9 percent on-year in July, higher than a 9.8 percent gain in the local currency- based prices, indicating the South Korean won appreciated sharply versus the greenback.