May 15, 2016 - 2:10 PM EDT
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UPDATE1: Japan's wholesale prices fall at fastest pace in 6 years

Japan's wholesale prices dropped 4.2 percent in April from a year earlier, falling at the fastest pace in more than six years, weighed down by continued declines in crude oil prices, the Bank of Japan said Monday.

The index of corporate goods prices stood at 99.3 against the 2010 base of 100, the central bank said in a preliminary report. The size of the decline was the sharpest since November 2009, according to the BOJ.

It was the 13th consecutive monthly decline and followed a 3.8 percent drop in March.

Prices of petroleum and coal products dived 21.6 percent from a year earlier and those of electric power, gas and water plunged 15.8 percent on the back of lower crude oil prices.

Prices of chemicals and related products shed 8.1 percent, reflecting a government cut in pharmaceutical prices, a BOJ official said.

Prices of nonferrous metals dropped 14.9 percent amid a fall in metals such as copper.

Meanwhile, prices of food, beverages, tobacco and feedstuffs gained 0.4 percent, led by increases in tobacco prices, while prices of whisky also rose amid its growing popularity in and outside Japan, the official said.

Export prices declined 9.5 percent and import prices plunged 19.4 percent, both in yen terms.

"Looking ahead, developments of price hikes in food, international commodity markets as well as currency moves require attention," the BOJ official said.

On a month-on-month basis, the price index fell 0.3 percent in April for the 11th straight monthly decline. But prices of petroleum and coal increased 3.7 percent from the previous month, reflecting recent gains in crude oil prices.


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Source: News (May 15, 2016 - 2:10 PM EDT)

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