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S. Korea’s export prices drop in January

Impact of COVID-19 not reflected in latest figures

South Korea saw its export prices fall on-year in January, mainly due to the strengthening of the Korean won against the US dollar, central bank data showed Friday.

The export prices index in terms of Korean won came to 96.59 last month, according to preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea. The figure was down 0.8 percentage point from a month earlier and down 2.8 percent from a year earlier.

“The export price index prolonged an on-month downturn but the pace of the decrease slowed down,” the BOK said.

The impact of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, was not reflected in January’s figures, it added.

The main reason for the drop was the appreciation of the Korean won against the greenback, the BOK said. The local currency traded at 1,164.28 won per dollar on average last month, up 1 percent from the previous month.

Measured in foreign currencies, the export price index climbed 0.1 percent on-month in January.

The index for farmed goods rose 0.1 percent on-month to 114.28, while that of manufactured goods slipped 0.8 percent to 96.52.

The import price index also dropped 0.8 percent on-month to 107.95, up 2.7 percent from a year earlier.

By Bae Hyun-jung (