Fuel trade with N.Korea slowing

By Chu Daye Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/26 21:28:40

UN sanctions being strictly enforced: expert

China's gasoline exports to North Korea in August dropped 96.3 percent year-on-year to 180 tons, media reports said Tuesday, citing customs data.

The August trade data with North Korea is being closely watched as China has been enforcing UN sanctions against North Korea since August 15 due to the country's nuclear and weapons programs.

Diesel exports to North Korea stood at 170 tons, compared with zero in August 2016, while gasoline shipments were 180 tons, down 96.3 percent from a year ago, according to media reports on Tuesday, citing data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

The GAC data also showed that China's coal imports from North Korea in August dropped 33.5 percent year-on-year to 1.64 million tons. Iron ore imports shrank by 27.2 percent year-on-year to 143,000 tons.

However, the overall trade volume between China and North Korea increased in August by 32 percent month-on-month to $604.27 million, compared with July's $456.16 million.

Li Tianguo, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' National Institute of International Strategy, said that China has been comprehensively and strictly carrying out UN sanctions against North Korea.

"The trade volume pickup in August could be due to the last batch of seaborne coal that was formerly still at sea being granted entry. After September, such changes won't appear again as no coal will be allowed in," Li told the Global Times on Tuesday.

On August 5, the UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea, targeting its exports of coal, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. China started enforcing the new measures from August 15, before the UN sanctions officially took effect in September.

China announced on Friday that it will ban energy supplies to North Korea and stop importing its textiles as required in a new UN resolution, because of the country's latest nuclear test on September 3.

China will ban exports of gas condensate and liquefied natural gas to North Korea, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said in a statement posted on its website late Friday.

Starting Saturday, the authorities will not accept export procedures for these products, according to the statement.

Exports of refined petroleum to North Korea will be limited to 2 million barrels per year, effective from January 1, 2018, MOFCOM said.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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