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Japan's Sept. wholesale prices mark biggest fall since 2016

This photo taken on May 18, 2016, from a Kyodo News helicopter shows the Bank of Japan's head office in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's wholesale prices marked their biggest fall in nearly three years in September, down 1.1 percent from a year before, due to lower crude oil prices amid prolonged trade tensions between the United States and China, the Bank of Japan said Thursday.

The price of goods traded between companies declined for the fourth straight month and registered the sharpest fall since December 2016 when they dropped 1.2 percent.

Prices for oil and coal products plunged 11.9 percent from a year earlier, marking the largest drop since September 2016 when they tumbled 13.4 percent.

"The drop in oil and coal products resulted from relatively high crude oil prices the previous year," said a BOJ official.

"However, the pace of the oil prices slowed down due to a temporary surge in the reporting month following attacks on key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia," he added. Oil and coal product prices fell just 0.1 percent from August.

Chemical products and nonferrous metal products prices fell 4.8 percent respectively, reflecting the lower oil prices, the raw material of the products, the BOJ official said.

Prices for scrap and waste dived 27.1 percent due to weak demand from China, according to the official.

"The continued trade tensions between the United States and China would still negatively affect prices if concerns over them grow," said the official, adding the central bank will closely monitor developments.

Export prices fell 6.0 percent while import prices dropped 9.3 percent, both in yen terms.

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