Japan's April wholesale prices up 1.2% on higher oil costs

Japan Economic Newswire |

Japan's wholesale prices rose 1.2 percent in April from a year earlier on higher crude oil costs, logging a 28th straight month of growth, the Bank of Japan said Thursday.

The price of goods traded between companies increased following a revised 1.3 percent rise in March, the central bank said.

Oil and coal products climbed 4.2 percent in the reporting month as crude oil prices rose amid expectations at the time for a recovery in the global economy on easing U.S.-China trade tensions, a BOJ official said.

However, the United States raised Friday tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products from 10 percent to 25 percent while China said Monday in a retaliatory move that it will increase duties on $60 billion worth of U.S. products to a maximum of 25 percent from 10 percent from .

Trade tensions between Washington and Beijing have further escalated as the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump announced Monday it will impose up to 25 percent tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese imports.

"Growing concerns over U.S.-China trade tensions and a possible slowdown in the global economy could weigh on crude oil prices. We will closely watch negative impacts on the economy and prices in Japan," said the official.

By items, prices for pulp and paper gained 5.2 percent due partly to solid demand for cardboard boxes used to send online purchases, a reflection of growth in e-commerce activity.

Prices for plastic products, and ceramic, stone and clay products rose 2.2 percent on higher raw material costs.

Nonferrous metals prices fell 2.7 percent and prices for electrical machinery and equipment decreased 1.9 percent, according to the survey conducted by the central bank.

Export prices grew 0.2 percent and import prices increased 1.8 percent from a year earlier, both in yen terms.


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