A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed steep drops in both import and export prices in the U.S. in the month of April.
The Labor Department said import prices plunged by 2.6 percent in April after tumbling by a revised 2.4 percent in March.
Economists had expected import prices to plummet by 3.1 percent compared to the 2.3 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.
The steep drop in import prices came as prices for fuel imports cratered by 31.5 percent in April following a 26.0 percent nosedive in March.
Excluding fuel, import prices fell by 0.5 percent in April after coming in unchanged in March, reflecting lower prices for industrial supplies and materials, foods, feeds, and beverages, and consumer goods.
Meanwhile, the report showed a 3.3 percent nosedive by export prices in April following a revised 1.7 percent decrease in March.
Export prices were expected to plunge by 2.1 percent compared to the 1.6 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.
Prices for agricultural and non-agricultural exports both showed substantial decreases, plummeting by 3.1 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.
Lower prices for corn, meat, cotton, fruit, soybeans, and nuts contributed to the drop in prices for agricultural exports, while the decrease in prices for non-agricultural exports was driven by lower non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials prices.
Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices in April were down by 6.8 percent and export prices were down by 7.0 percent.