Prices for U.S. imports, exports rise in February

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HOUSTON, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Prices for U.S. imports and exports both advanced 0.6 percent in February, the U.S. Department of Labor said on Thursday.

The increase of import prices in February was the largest monthly rise since a 0.9-percent advance in May 2018. Despite the February growth, import prices declined 1.3 percent from February 2018 to February 2019, driven by lower fuel and nonfuel prices.

Import fuel prices grew by 4.9 percent in February, after advancing 4.1 percent in January and falling by 13.3 percent in December 2018. The February increase was the largest monthly advance since a 6.1-percent rise in May 2018.

Petroleum prices advanced 4.7 percent in February and prices for natural gas rose 10.5 percent over the same period.

Nonfuel import prices in February remained same as the previous month, following a 0.3-percent decrease in January.

U.S. export prices increased by 0.6 percent in February following a 0.5-percent decline in January and a 0.7-percent drop in December 2018.

Higher prices for both agricultural and nonagricultural commodities contributed to the February increase.

Export prices for agricultural commodities rose 0.3 percent in February, after falling by 2.1 percent in January. Despite the February increase, overall agricultural prices fell by 0.2 percent over the past 12 months, driven by lower prices for soybeans, meat and nuts.

Non-agricultural export prices increased 0.7 percent in February, the largest monthly rise since April 2018. Higher prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials contributed to the February increase. Enditem

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