SEOUL, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s producer prices rose for the third straight month in August due to the rising costs of agricultural products and oil goods, central bank data showed Tuesday.
The producer price index, a barometer of future consumer inflation, climbed 0.5 percent last month from a month earlier, accelerating from a 0.2 percent on-month gain in July, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
It marked the third straight month of increase after the price index stayed flat in May from the previous month.
Compared with a year earlier, the producer prices fell 0.5 percent in August after a 0.8 percent on-year fall in July.
“The prices of agricultural products sharply rose due to the impact of typhoons and the rainy season. A rise in oil and raw material prices raised prices of industrial goods,” a BOK official said.
The prices of agricultural goods jumped 16 percent last month from July, due mainly to the country’s longest-ever monsoon season.
South Korea underwent a record-long rainy season this year that began June 24 and lasted for 54 days in the central part of the country.
The prices of industrial goods gained 0.2 percent on-month in August, mainly due to rising prices of metal and petrochemical products, the BOK said.
Prices of Dubai crude, South Korea’s benchmark, rose 1.6 percent in August from the previous month.
South Korea’s inflationary pressure has remained weak so far this year due mainly to low oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.
But consumer prices rose 0.7 percent in August from a year earlier, marking the second consecutive monthly increase amid the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed.
At an August rate-setting meeting, the BOK froze the key rate at a record low of 0.5 percent after cutting it by a quarter percentage point in May.