Japan's June wholesale prices increase 5 pct on strong commodity prices

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TOKYO, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Wholesale prices in Japan increased 5.0 percent in June from a year earlier, due to rising commodity prices amid hopes for economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Bank of Japan (BOJ) data showed Monday.

The prices of goods traded between companies rose for the fourth consecutive month and followed a revised 5 percent rise in May.

The prices of Petroleum and coal products surged 42.0 percent from a year earlier, and the prices of nonferrous metal jumped 37.6 percent.

With the recovery of economic activities in regions where COVID-19 vaccinations have progressed, demand for woods, scrap, and other products increased as well. According to BOJ data, prices of lumber and wood products increased 18.6 percent, and the prices of scrap soared 74.8 percent.

"The global economic recovery boosted prices of commodity and a wide range of products," a BOJ official said.

The rising demand from Japan's main trading partners such as China and the United States has helped Japan's economy. However, Japan still faces challenges with the rising COVID-19 infections, as Tokyo went back to the state of emergency less than two weeks before the start of the Tokyo Olympics.

Inflation worries have not been seen in Japan so far since the 2- percent inflation target of BOJ is still not reached. Wholesale prices affect consumer prices.

Although the rising price of raw materials drives high costs for companies, companies seem reluctant to pass the costs onto consumers when demand remains subdued. However, their actions could hurt their profits, economists say.

Import prices increased 28.0 percent on a year-on-year basis while exports prices gained 11.3 percent, both on yen terms. Enditem

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