Export Prices Have Largest Monthly Decline Since 2015


Export prices declined a steep 1.1% in February the most since 2015. Import prices fell 0.5%.

The BLS Import and Export Price report shows more bad news for the Trump administration hoping for a big surge in exports.

Import Prices

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Fuel Imports

Import fuel prices decreased 7.7 percent in February, the largest monthly decline since the index dropped 7.8 percent in June 2019. The February decrease was led by lower prices for petroleum, though falling prices for natural gas also contributed to the monthly decline. Petroleum prices fell 7.6 percent in February following no change in January and a 0.5-percent advance in December. The price index for natural gas declined 12.4 percent in February, after decreasing 13.2 percent in January. Import fuel prices fell 5.8 percent over the past 12 months, driven by a 5.5-percent drop in petroleum prices and a 13.9- percent decline in natural gas prices.

All Imports Excluding Fuel

The price index for nonfuel imports increased 0.3 percent in February, following rises of 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent in January and December, respectively. Higher prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; foods, feeds, and beverages; and capital goods all contributed to the February advance. Despite the recent monthly increases, nonfuel import prices fell 0.7 percent over the 12-month period ended in February and have not increased on an over-the-year basis since rising 0.6 percent in December 2018.

Export Prices

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Agricultural Exports

The price index for agricultural exports declined 2.7 percent in February following an increase of 2.1 percent in January. Falling prices for vegetables, soybeans, and meat in February more than offset higher fruit prices. Prices for agricultural exports increased over the past 12 months, rising 0.2 percent from February 2019 to February 2020.

All Exports Excluding Agriculture

Nonagricultural export prices decreased 1.0 percent in February, after advancing 0.6 percent the previous month. In February, declining prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials drove the decrease in nonagricultural export prices. The price index for nonagricultural exports declined 1.6 percent for the year ended in February.

Soybean Futures

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Soybeans are on a price support level that dates all the way back to 2007.

The current price was first touched in 2004.

Trump will not exactly be happy to say the least. Nor will the farmers who mostly support him.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (7)
No. 1-5
Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

"Export prices declined a steep 1.1% in February the most since 2015. Import prices fell 0.5%."


And March? Hhmm, stock market shock, virus explosion, and Saudi Arabia nuking oil prices with price cut / production increase.

Uhh, I think the down trend will continue a bit further ...


I think we're at the beginning of a highly deflationary period. Deflation is almost always caused by a lack of demand.

Ted R
Ted R

I think the down trend will last many years.


The Fed commits to $5T of money pumping yesterday and precious metals are absolutely flattened today while stocks recover slightly. Any insight on why that is, @Mish? The commonly offered reason is large diversified investors are liquidating winners to prevent margin calls and forced liquidation on losers, but I wonder if that isn't wrong. Could it be that if a stock market sell-off vaporizes $10T in asset prices and the Fed adds $5T, then that is still a net loss of $5T in money in the system relative to assets? Could something else be the reason? Any insight?

Debbie C.
Debbie C.

Weird, just analyzing,. Everytime I moved it changed. During recession, it was above line. 2nd year I lived right near grocery store, 2007-9, Went higher, when I moved East in my town. 6 yrs I lived there 2010-2015. Then dropped when I came here 2016, & still here. Went from a friend house, neighborhood to a family house neighborhood. Hum. FROM city to county. & From corporate to unincorporated. Now, that's what I call analyzing!๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž

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