8 June 2001, 12:39  Japan May WPI supported by temporary rise in fish prices: BoJ

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) - The Bank of Japan said seasonal factors, particularly a rise in the price of salted salmon, kept wholesale prices flat in May, after a fall of 0.1 pct the previous month. Fishery product prices rose 3.2 pct month-on-month during May, but the gains are likely to be temporary, it said.
"Generally, the price of salted salmon rises until the middle of May. In fact, it has already started falling," a BoJ official said. Meanwhile, the machinery and transport equipment sectors offset the rise.
Machinery fell 0.5 pct month-on-month due to falls in microchip prices.
"Last month DRAM prices stopped falling. However, they started falling again due to declining demand in the U.S.," the official said. SRAM used for mobile phones also fell on the sharp decline in demand for cellphones in Europe. Transport equipment fell 0.5 pct due to continued requests from automakers for cuts in auto parts prices, as well as falling steel prices.
Export and import prices fell in May due to a temporary rise in the yen during the period. The dollar averaged 121.97 yen in May, compared with 123.94 the previous month.

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