Growth of N. Korean trade slows in 2012

According to Yonhap:

The growth of North Korea’s exports and overall trade volume slowed down significantly last year, apparently due to international sanctions condemning its nuclear test and other provocations, Seoul’s trade promotion agency said Wednesday.

According to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, better known as KOTRA, North Korea’s overall trade reached US$6.81 billion in 2012, growing 7.1 percent from a year earlier and reaching a record high since 1990 when such data began to be compiled.

The growth, however, marked a sharp slowdown from a 51.3 percent on-year hike in 2011.

“Such a significant slowdown of growth last year appears to have been caused by the fact that North Korea has only a limited number of export products and that sanctions by the international community continued,” KOTRA said in a press release.

The North’s overall exports gained 3.3 percent on-year to $2.88 billion with imports surging 10.2 percent to $3.93 billion.

Still, the North’s trade relations with its communist ally China strengthened with the countries’ bilateral trade reaching $6.01 billion, accounting for 88.3 percent of the North’s overall trade in 2012.

Trade with China has also slowed. According to Yonhap:

North Korea’s imports from China for this year registered its first drop in three years due apparently to China’s tightened grip on transactions with its ally under United Nations sanctions, Beijing’s customs data showed Wednesday.

The North brought in US$1.01 billion worth of Chinese goods during the January-April period, down 8.68 percent from a year earlier, according to China’s online customs data analyzed by Yonhap News Agency.

It was the first annual drop for the four-month period since 2010 when Customs-info, the online customs data provider, started to provide related information.

The North’s imports from China stood at $525.8 million for the same four-month period in 2010. It had posted two successive annual increases to reach $1.1 billion in 2012 before registering a fall this year, according to the data.

The on-year reduction this year can be attributable to China’s increased efforts to strictly apply punitive U. N. sanctions adopted to punish the North for its long-range rocket launch, believed to have been a test of its ballistic missile technology, and its third nuclear test, which occurred on Feb. 12.

Taking a step back from its previous stance to keep neutral about its ally, China joined punitive international moves by tightening its customs and immigration inspections toward the North.

The data, however, showed that the North’s exports to China grew 6 percent on-year to $842.8 million during the January-April period.

Read the full stories here:
Growth of N. Korean trade slows in 2012

N. Korea’s imports from China drop amid tensions


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