SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's import prices rose for four months through December due to expensive crude oil and weaker local currency, central bank data showed on Wednesday.
The import price index advanced 4.2 percent from a month earlier to 83.14 in December, the highest in some two years, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). It marked the fourth consecutive monthly increase.
Dubai crude, South Korea's benchmark, averaged 52.08 U.S. dollars per barrel in December, up 18.6 percent from the previous month.
It lifted prices for imported mining products that jumped 13.2 percent. Those for imported coal and oil products advanced 10.6 percent.
The South Korean currency's depreciation to the dollar also contributed to higher import prices. The won/dollar exchange rate averaged 1,182.28 won in December, up 1.8 percent from the prior month.
The export price index stood at 86.13 in December, up 2.9 percent from a month ago. The export prices also rose for four months in a row.
Prices for exported coal and oil products advanced 12.1 percent last month on a monthly basis, with export prices for chemicals and electronic products gaining 3.1 percent and 2.7 percent respectively.