By John S. McClenahen As expected, prices paid on goods imported into the U.S. fell in September, with the U.S. Labor Department reporting that its U.S. Import Price Index declined half a percentage point last month. The decline came after three consecutive months of increases and was led by lower petroleum prices. The price index for imported petroleum decreased 5.2% in September, and that was enough to more than offset a 0.2% increase in prices for non-petroleum imports. As import prices were falling in September, U.S. export prices were rising. Export prices were up 0.4% last month, their first increase since May. The September increase in overall export prices was paced by a 5.5% increase in the prices for agricultural exports, the biggest monthly increase since the Labor Department began publishing its monthly export index in 1989. Prices for non-agricultural exports fell 0.1% in September, resuming a recent trend of falling prices after a 0.1% rise in August.