December 26, 2017 / 8:09 AM / a year ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-China halts oil product exports to N.Korea in November as sanctions bite

 (Corrects LPG tonnage for November and January-November in
    * China takes no N.Korea iron ore, coal or lead in Nov
    * Beijing urns off commodities trade taps as tensions grow
    * New sanctions imposed by U.N. Security Council last week

    By Ryan Woo and Muyu Xu
    BEIJING, Dec 26 (Reuters) - China exported no oil products
to North Korea in November, Chinese customs data showed,
apparently going above and beyond sanctions imposed earlier this
year by the United Nations in a bid to limit petroleum shipments
to the isolated country. 
    Tensions have flared anew over North Korea's ongoing nuclear
and missile programmes, pursued in defiance of years of U.N.
resolutions. Last week, the U.N. Security Council imposed new
caps on trade with North Korea, including limiting oil product
shipments to just 500,000 barrels a year. 
    Beijing also imported no iron ore, coal or lead from North
Korea in November, the second full month of the latest trade
sanctions imposed by U.N. 
    China, the main source of North Korea's fuel, did not export
any gasoline, jet fuel, diesel or fuel oil to its isolated
neighbour last month, data from the General Administration of
Customs showed on Tuesday. 
    November was the second straight month China exported no
diesel or gasoline to North Korea. The last time China's jet
fuel shipments to Pyongyang were at zero was in February 2015. 
    Since June, state-run China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC)
           has suspended sales of gasoline and diesel to North
Korea, concerned that it would not get paid for its goods,
Reuters previously reported. 
    Beijing's move to turn off the taps completely is rare. 
    In March 2003, China suspended oil supplies to North Korea
for three days after Pyongyang fired a missile into waters
between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. 
    It is unknown if China still sells crude oil to Pyongyang.
Beijing has not disclosed its crude exports to North Korea for
several years. 
    Industry sources say China still supplies about 520,000
tonnes, or 3.8 million barrels, of crude a year to North Korea
via an aging pipeline. That is a little more than 10,000 barrels
a day, and worth about $200 million a year at current prices. 
    North Korea also sources some of its oil from Russia.
    Chinese exports of corn to North Korean in November also
slumped, down 82 percent from a year earlier to 100 tonnes, the
lowest since January. Exports of rice plunged 64 percent to 672
tonnes, the lowest since March. 
    Trade between North Korea and China has slowed through the
year, particularly after China banned coal purchases in
February. In November, China's trade with North Korea totalled
$388 million, one of the lowest monthly volumes this year. 
    China has renewed its call on all countries to make
constructive efforts to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula,
urging the use of peaceful means to resolve issues. 
    But tensions flared again after North Korea on Nov. 29 said
it had tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile that put
the U.S. mainland within range of its nuclear weapons. 
    Meanwhile Chinese exports of liquefied petroleum gas to
North Korea, used for cooking, rose 58 percent in November from
a year earlier to 99 tonnes. Exports of ethanol, which can be
turned into a biofuel, gained 82 percent to 3,428 cubic metres. 
 Imports       November  yr-on-yr %  Jan-Nov      % change
 Coal                                                   (76.42)
                   -       (100.00)   4,813,954   
 Iron ore                                                  7.49
                   -       (100.00)   1,656,552   
 Lead ore &                                           7,255.00 
 concentrates      -       (100.00)               
 Molybdenum                  345.69                      33.07 
 ores & concs       82                            
 Zinc ores &                                             97.00 
 concentrates      -       (100.00)               
 Gasoline                                               (48.43)
                   -       (100.00)      46,159   
 Diesel                                                 (72.87)
                   -       (100.00)               
 Jet fuel                                                41.93 
                   -       (100.00)               
 Other fuel                                             (76.06)
                   -       (100.00)      22,012   
 Fuel No. 5-7                                           (21.52)
                   -       (100.00)               
 LPG                                                      55.1 
                    99       58.31          978   
 Ethanol                                                203.94 
                 3,428       81.97       33,576   
 Refined lead                                         7,255.59 
                   -       (100.00)               
 Synthetic                                                 3.52
 rubber             36       18.17                
 Corn                                                 2,381.02 
                   100      (82.00)      50,118   
 Rice                                                   (10.14)
                   672      (63.95)      34,353   
 Sugar                    na                          4,714.00 
                 5,750                   59,503   
 Cotton                                                 (25.17)
                     4      (88.29)               
 Soymeal                                                140.06 
                 1,090      (11.38)      22,886   
 Soyoil                                                  39.41 
                10,878       57.32       89,244   

 (Reporting by Muyu Xu and Ryan Woo; Additional reporting by
Meng Meng and Hallie Gu; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Tom
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