South Korea's import prices fell for three straight months as the currency appreciated against the U.S. dollar amid lower crude oil prices, central bank data showed Wednesday. In local currency terms, import prices declined 0.5 percent in November from a month earlier, maintaining the downward trend for the third consecutive month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). From a year earlier, the prices dropped 4.9 percent last month. The South Korean currency appreciated 0.4 percent last month to the U.S. dollar compared with the prior month. The persistent appreciation boosted purchasing power of local consumers for imported products. Dubai crude, South Korea's benchmark, averaged 105.49 dollars a barrel last month, down 0.1 percent from the previous month. Prices in imported raw materials retreated 0.6 percent on-month in November, while those for intermediate goods, including oil, chemical and steel products, declined 0.4 percent. Capital goods prices reduced 0.9 percent in November from a month earlier, but consumer goods prices were unchanged from the prior month. In contract currency terms, import prices rose 0.1 percent on- month in November, indicating that lower import prices came mainly from the strong South Korean currency.