China Limits Refined Oil Exports to N.Korea
China's Commerce Ministry on Saturday announced a ban on exports of some petroleum products to North Korea as well as imports of textiles from the isolated state in compliance with UN Security Council sanctions.
But Beijing pointed out that exports of crude oil were not included in the latest ban. The ministry in a statement on its website said China will ban exports of condensates and liquefied natural gas to the North immediately and limit exports of refined petroleum products from Oct. 1.
Its exports of refined petroleum products to North Korea are not expected to exceed 500,000 barrels until Dec. 31 this year, and stay below 2 million barrels next year. The ban on imports of North Korean textiles went into effect on Saturday.
Gasoline prices in North Korea seem to have surged in anticipation. Voice of America on Sunday cited a diplomat based in Pyongyang as saying that gasoline prices rose 44 percent from 1.6 euros per kg on Sept. 3, when North Korea conducted its latest nuclear test, to 2.3 euros on Thursday.
In January, gasoline prices stood at just 0.75 euros per kg, which means they have almost tripled. VOA said the price surge is due to hoarding by locals rather than an immediate shortage.
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