Analysts polled by Thomson Financial News had expected an average increase of 0.6 percent, following a rise of 0.4 percent in March, the Destatis office said.
On an annual basis, import prices were 5.7 percent higher in April, the same rate as a month earlier, but slightly lower than the February level of 5.9 percent. Analysts had penciled in a 12-month increase of 5.3 percent.
When crude and mineral oil products were stripped out, the April index of import prices dropped to 1.5 percent, Destatis said. Energy products in general posted an annual gain of 36.1 percent, with crude oil up by 41.1 percent and mineral oil products costing 35.6 percent more than in April 2007.
Food products also posted sharp gains, with grains gaining 44.1 percent, fruits costing 31 percent more and milk and dairy products up by 11.5 percent.