A thriving trade in seafood across the Yalu River that separates China from North Korea has dramatically slowed, traders said, although there is still nearly a month to go for a UN deadline to tighten sanctions on North Korea as punishment for its missile tests. The UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution on Saturday [5 August 2017] banning North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood, intending to press the country to renounce its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs…Full Article: The Global Times Aug 2017

Key Point

  • From January to June 2017, China imported approximately USD 91 million worth of North Korean seafood (i.e. crabs, puffer fish and mackerel fished from the Yellow Sea). North Koreans in turn import alcohol, cooking gas and vegetables at the Port of Dandong. The Port of Dandong generally accounts for 75% of Chinese-North Korean trade.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In March 2017, the THAAD system arrived in South Korea. Shortly after Dayaowan (Port of Dalian) officials returned 18 food products (~2.1 MTs, worth US$8,789) to South Korea. Officials also destroyed a separate shipment of imported baked fish products over the use of additives. Meanwhile in Beijing, the Korean-style barbecue restaurant chain, Quanjincheng, announced that they would not sell Lotte (South Korean) products such wine and beverages.
  • In July 2016, USA and South Korea agreed to deploy the USA’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea as a deterrent to North Korea.
  • In October 2015, Liaoning Province’s Dandong opened the Guomenwan trade zone (~40,000 sq. meters) with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Approximately CNY 1 billion (USD 158 million) was invested to establish the trade zone, which will allow habitants living within ~20 km of the Chinese-North Korean border to trade. In addition, North Korean can spend up to CNY 8,000 (USD 1,260) duty-free per day. At the time, there were reportedly 600 border trade enterprises in Dandong, China, with North Korea accounting for approximately of city’s trade.
  • China was once a major importer of North Korean berries. From January 2006 to September 2012, Chinese imports of cranberries, bilberries, and blueberries were somewhat erratic, dipping to 975 metric tons (MTs) in 2009 before increasing to over 3,000 MTs in 2011. Chile, the United States, and North Korea were the top suppliers. From 2006 to September 2012, Chile witnessed their import share (by volume) of China’s market jump from 1% to 54%. The U.S. also saw growth, with their import market share rising from 10% to 31%. However, their share has stagnated somewhat around 30% since 2010. North Korea noted a decline of 20% to 8% over the same time period.

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