© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A South Korea won note is seen in this illustration photo May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s import prices rose at their slowest pace in 21 months in December, as the local won currency strengthened and oil prices fell, implying weakening pressure on consumer inflation.
The prices of the country’s imports stood 9.1% higher in December than a year ago, in terms of the won currency, compared with 14.0% in November and a near 14-year high of 36.5% in May, central bank data showed on Friday. It marked the slowest annual rise since March 2021.
Those of exports also rose at a slower rate of 3.1%, down from 8.3% in the previous month, and marked the slowest since February 2021, also affected by a stronger won.
In December, the dollar/won exchange rates were on average 5.0% lower than in November, while Dubai oil prices were 10.5% lower, according to the Bank of Korea.