February 20, 2017 / 1:25 AM / 6 months ago

China's coke, coking coal prices rise after North Korea coal ban

BEIJING, Feb 20 (Reuters) - China's coke and coking coal futures rose in early Monday trade after Beijing suspended imports of North Korean coal as part of its efforts to implement United Nations sanctions against its northern neighbour.

The most-active May coke futures were up 1.3 percent at 1,709.5 yuan ($249.05) per tonne by 0117 GMT, while coking coal futures were also up 1.3 percent at 1,250 yuan.

China stopped all imports of coal from North Korea from Sunday, the country's commerce ministry said in a notice posted on its website on Saturday. The ban on the isolated country's biggest export will be in place until Dec. 31.

The move came a week after Pyongyang tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile, its first direct challenge to the international community since U.S. President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20.

North Korea was China's fourth biggest supplier of coal last year, with imports of anthracite, high-quality coal used to make coke, a key ingredient in steelmaking, reaching 22.48 million tonnes, up 14.5 percent compared to 2015.

$1 = 6.8640 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Richard Pullin

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