China Halts oil Exports to N/Korea

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In a bid to limiting petroleum exports and in keeping the UN sanctions, China exported no oil products to North Korea in November, Chinese customs data showed.

China 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.

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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.

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.

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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, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

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.

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Beijing’s move to turn off the taps completely is rare.

In March 2003, Beijing suspended oil supplies to North Korea for three days after Pyongyang fired a missile into waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

However, it is unknown if China still sells crude oil to Pyongyang. Beijing has not disclosed its crude exports to North Korea for several years.

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Industry sources say Beijing 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.

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