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N. Korea's trade with China down 67 pct amid pandemic

All News 08:38 August 20, 2020

SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's trade with China plunged 67 percent in the first half of 2020 from a year earlier due to the border closure over the new coronavirus pandemic, data showed Thursday.

The combined transactions between the two countries reached US$412 million in the January-June period, according to the data compiled by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

Exports fell 72.3 percent to reach $29 million, while imports decreased 66.5 percent to $383 million, the data showed.

The overall trade crashed 91.3 percent and 90 percent on-year in March and April, respectively, as North Korea decided to fully shut down its border with China in an effort to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their trade fell 76.9 percent and 57.1 percent in May and June, respectively, as North Korea eased some of the restrictions.

Despite the decrease in overall imports, cooking oil, sugar, flour and medical products took up larger slices of North Korea's import portfolio with China, the data showed.

China is North Korea's most important trading partner and a key source of food and fuel.

The KITA said North Korea bought more foodstuffs and medical instruments from China as Pyongyang prioritized securing necessities, as the virus pandemic dealt a harsh blow to its foreign currency reserves.

North Korea's major exports goods included watches, wigs and tungsten.

N. Korea's trade with China down 67 pct amid pandemic - 1


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