Chinese-DPRK trade shrinks

The Hong Kong daily newspaper Ta Kung Pao (excerpted in the Donga Ilbo) did some field work on the China-DPRK border which helps us get a better idea of how trade between the two nations has fared in the latest financial crisis. 

Quoting from the article:

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.

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.”

Read previous posts on this topic here.

Read the full article above here:
N. Korea’s Border Trade With China Plunging 
Donga Ilbo
11/19/2008

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