June 23, 2017 / 8:34 AM / a month ago

China's May imports from North Korea 3rd lowest on record

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BEIJING, June 23 (Reuters) - China's imports of North Korean goods in May fell by more than 30 percent from a year ago, data showed on Friday, the latest sign that China's ban on coal purchases from the isolated country continues to curb trade between the two neighbours.

The world's second-largest economy bought goods worth $123.8 million in May from North Korea, down 31 percent from a year earlier and the third-lowest tally on records going back to June 2014, according to data from China's General Administration of Customs.

The total was up from $99.3 million in April, the lowest on record, and the second weakest total which was registered in March.

The data indicates that China's halt of North Korean coal imports on Feb. 26 has crimped Pyongyang's ability to raise hard currency through exports.

Chinese exports to North Korea rose to $319.8 million, up double-digit percentage rates from a year ago and April. (Reporting by Josephine Mason)

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