SEOUL, March 15 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's import price growth hit the highest in nine months in February on higher crude oil price, central bank data showed Friday.
The import price index stood at 86.56 in February, up 1.9 percent from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). It was the fastest gain since May last year.
It was attributed to expensive crude oil. Dubai crude, South Korea's benchmark, averaged 64.59 U.S. dollars a barrel in February, up 9.3 percent from the previous month.
Price for imported raw materials advanced 5.1 percent on higher crude oil price. Intermediate goods price, including coal and oil product, rose 1 percent last month.
The export price index came in at 82.97 in February, up 0.2 percent from a month ago. It was the first rebound in four months on oil price hike.
Export price for coal and oil product picked up 8 percent, the highest since May last year.
Price for DRAM memory chip, the country's major export item, declined 6.9 percent in February from a month ago. It kept a downward trend for the seventh consecutive month.