The Korea Development Institute (KDI) announced on January 31 that the bilateral trade between North Korea and China declined 14.8% from a year ago between January and November 2015.
According to the KDI, North Korea’s export to China is estimated to have decreased 12.3% during the period with those of anthracite and iron ore falling 6.3% and 68.5%, respectively. This seems to be attributable to the rapid decline in international raw material prices of last year and shrinkage in China’s demand. The unit export price of anthracite almost halved from US$90 to US$47.5 per ton between the first half of 2013 and the second half of last year while that of iron ore plummeted from US$100.5 to US$45.5.
North Korea’s import from China fell 16.8% as well due to tensions between the two countries, the slowdown of the Chinese economy and North Korea’s campaign for the promotion of the use of domestic products.
In the meantime, the University of North Korean Studies recently mentioned that new consumer goods and service markets appeared in North Korea last year for the supply of energy, daily necessities and transport services while its cottage industry showed some improvement. “The real estate prices in North Korea are showing a continuous increase these days and its housing market is showing signs of a boom, led by newly-built apartments,” it added.