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SINGAPORE, April 10 China's customs department
has issued an official order telling trading companies to return
their North Korean coal cargoes, said a trading source at
Dandong Chengtai Trade Co., the biggest buyer of coal from the
Following repeated missile tests that drew international
criticism, China banned all imports of North Korean coal on Feb.
26, cutting off the country's most important export product.
The source at Dandong Chengtai said the company had 600,000
tonnes of North Korean coal sitting at various ports, and a
total of 2 million tonnes was stranded at various Chinese ports,
waiting to be returned.
The source spoke on condition of anonymity due to the
sensitivity of the subject.
Neither Dandong Chengtai (former Dandong Zhicheng Metallic
Material Co., Ltd) nor Chinese authorities were available for
Shipping data on Thomson Reuters Eikon, a financial markets
information and analytics platform, shows at least half a dozen
general cargo vessels have recently taken coal out of China,
mostly from the ports of Weihai and Peng Lai, and returned fully
laden to North Korea.
Last month, Reuters reported that Malaysia briefly prevented
a North Korean ship carrying coal from China from entering its
port in Penang because of a suspected breach in sanctions. The
ship was eventually allowed to unload its 6,300 metric tonnes of
(Writing by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Bill Tarrant)