A release from the U.S. Department of Labor Wednesday showed American import prices dropped by 0.9% in November, the largest decrease since June, exceeding economist estimates of a 0.5% drop. Export prices also sank at a five-month high, falling 0.7% for the month. Over the past year, import prices have dropped 1.6% while export prices have risen 0.7%.
The declining price of fuel particularly hit imports in November: Fuel import prices fell 3% for the month, while the price of all non-fuel imports declined by just 0.2%. It's part of a year-long trend for fuel, as the import has seen prices shrink by 7% between November 2011 and 2012 after rising more than 32% over the prior year.
On the export side, agricultural exports have surged even as the prices of all other exports have remained mostly flat over the past year; agricultural good prices are up 10% over that time.