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Published: Fri, July 14, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

China steel exports ease in June, aluminium shipments steady

China steel exports ease in June, aluminium shipments steady

On trade with North Korea, Huang said growth in the first half was driven by exports of labor-intensive products not on the United Nations' embargo list.

About 90 percent of North Korea's exports go to China, and coal has been the single-biggest export item.

China announced in February the suspension of coal imports from the North, striking a blow at a major source of income for the hermit state.

"China has been constantly executing the UN Security Council resolution in a comprehensive, precise, earnest and strict way", Huang said.

The value of imports from North Korea fell to $880 million in the six months to June, down 13 percent from a year earlier, according to the figures released by the Customs office. Imports have fallen since March, when they declined 36.5 percent, he said.

China's consistent US trade surplus levels have left it vulnerable to accusations of currency manipulation, particularly given the fact that the yuan fell 6.6% against the dollar previous year, its biggest decline since 1994.

"Trade related to the people's livelihood in the North Korea, especially those that embody humanitarian principles, should not be affected by sanctions".

Trump has urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to use China's economic leverage over North Korea but, after suggesting that Beijing was not acting to punish Pyongyang, Trump last week suggested he'd given up on Xi.

The overall rise in trade has been driven by China's exports to North Korea, which were up by almost 30% in the first half of the year.

That is thanks in a large part to the resilient demand for real estate in smaller cities across China with lax rules for properties as authorities attempt to clear up the housing glut.

"If Trump were to give up on Chinese support in terms of containing North Korea, then there's a risk of increased trade tensions between the US and China, which could negatively impact China's overall export performance", said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics.

China has always been the North's main diplomatic defender but increasingly expresses frustration with leader Kim Jong UN's provocative behavior.

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