South Korea's producer prices fall

Seoul, June 18 (IANS) Producer prices in South Korea fell for three straight months due to lower prices of farm goods and crude oil, central bank data showed Tuesday.

The producer price index (PPI), a barometer of future consumer price inflation, declined 0.4 percent in May from a month earlier, keeping its downward trend for the third consecutive month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The continued decline came amid lower prices for agricultural products and global crude oil. Dubai crude, South Korea's benchmark, averaged $100.34 a barrel in May, down 1.3 percent from the prior month, reported Xinhua.

Manufactured goods prices slid 0.5 percent in May from the prior month amid lower crude prices. Prices for oil and coal products retreated 1.3 percent and chemical product prices lost 0.9 percent.

Agricultural product prices declined 2.8 percent over the same period. Vegetable prices tumbled 17.4 percent last month, and fruit prices dipped 1.3 percent.

Prices for electricity, tap water and gas fell 0.1 percent last month, while service prices rose 0.1 percent due to a hike in finance and insurance service fees.