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China's Sept imports from N.Korea down 37.9% as United Nations sanctions bite

13 October 2017

House says that part of the pick-up comes amid shift in the timing of the Mid-Autumn Festival, leading to more working days last month than in September 2016.

Customs spokesman Huang Songping did not provide the trade values for September, but said imports of coal, iron ore and apparel from North Korea all declined in the month, and there were no imports of seafood. Imports were forecast to jump 13.5 percent in the same period.

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He cited favorable factors for trade growth including mild recovery in the world economy, strong economic momentum inside China and good prospects for trade with other emerging markets. At the same time, imports growth exceeded expectations on improving domestic demand.

Exports increased 8.1% in September compared with the same period a year earlier, following 5.5% growth in August, the General Administration of Customs said Friday.

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That left the country with a trade surplus of $28.47 billion, less than the near $40 billion expected and down from around $42 billion in August.

In addition to pointing to buoyant demand, some of the surge in September imports may have been due to companies "front loading" supplies ahead of a week-long national holiday in early October, analysts said. The surplus grew to $28.08 billion from $26.23 billion in August. US officials have resumed criticizing Chinese policy after President Donald Trump said in April he would temporarily shelve disputes while Washington and Beijing cooperated on North Korea.

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Trade with traditional markets witnessed a full recovery, with exports to the European Union, the United States and Japan up by 16.4 percent, 18.7 percent and 14.9 percent, respectively. China's economy will grow 6.8 percent this year and 6.5 percent next year, also both 0.1 percentage point higher than its July forecasts.

China's Sept imports from N.Korea down 37.9% as United Nations sanctions bite