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Biggest drop in import prices in 22 years

Prices for imported goods were down by on average 7.1% in March this year as compared to March 2008. This was the biggest annual drop since April 1987. In February and January this year the annual changes had been -6.4 % and -5.4 % respectively. As compared to February 2009 the import price index fell by 0.4 %. This big annual drop in import prices is mainly due to plummeting prices for energy (-28.5 %).

In the period from February to March this year energy prices fell by 1.2 %. Prices for crude oil fell by 44.5 % in the period between March 2008 and 2009 and increased by 6.8 % in comparison with February this year. For mineral oil products the respective changes were -45.3 % and -3.0 %. Without taking into account crude oil and mineral oil products the import price index was down by 1.8 % in March 2009 as compared to March last year (-0.8 % on February 2009).

For natural gas the respective price changes were +8.0 % and -6.3 % respectively. The changes in import prices for hard coal were +47.3 % and -4.1 % respectively.

With regard to raw materials in particular import prices for non-ferrous metal ores decreased in March as compared to March 2008 (-37.5 %) and increased by 3.1 % in comparison with February this year. For import prices of iron ore price changes were +62.0 % and -2.3 % respectively.
Import prices for corn fell by 37.8 % in March this year (-3.1 % on February 2009). For milk and dairy products the respective price changes were -14.2 % and -1.3 % respectively.

The export price index fell by 1.7% in March this year as compared to the respective month in 2008 and by 0.4 % as compared to February this year. GERMAN