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N. Korea’s Border Trade With China Plunging

Posted November. 19, 2008 02:59,   


The volume of border trade between North Korea and China has plunged in the wake of the global financial crisis, the Hong Kong daily Ta Kung Pao said yesterday.

Trading in the market along the border line and approved by the Chinese government has effectively stopped, the report said. Such trading is also not categorized as international trade.

“We found such a result after inspecting 1,334 kilometers from Dandong down the Yalu River to the Tumen River over 20 days,” the daily said.

The trade of mineral resources was hit hardest. The price of yellow copper has fallen from 60 yuan (around 12,000 won) in March to 12 yuan. That of red copper has dropped from 100 yuan (around 20,000 won) per kilogram in April to 24 yuan.

Over the same period, the price of iron ore has plummeted nearly 70 percent from three to four yuan to 1.2 yuan.

The daily said North Korea’s largest copper mine in Hyesan suspended production as prices of mineral resources for export have fallen.

North Korean exports to South Korea via China have also sharply decreased.

With South Korea’s imports falling due to the weak South Korean won, trade volume over the past seven months fell 36.9 percent from a year ago in Hunchun in China’s Jilin province, an area that has served as a trade intermediary between the two Koreas.

A trader in Longjing said, “The global financial crisis has significantly affected border trade since last month. It is hard for North Korean merchants to bring goods to Chinese markets. But it is far harder to find North Korean merchants who cross the border to buy goods in China.”