China launches N’Korean shipping route

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Citing a  Chinese port authority, state news agency Xinhua said on Friday that China has launched a bulk cargo and container shipping route  connecting it to North Korea that will focus on importing coal and  exporting groceries.

Reuters quoted Chinese state news agency Xinhua as having said on Friday, citing a  Chinese port authority.

The report said that route will connect China’s Longkou Port in eastern China’s  Shandong province with the North Korean Port of Nampo, and will be  serviced by seven ships.

Though China’s coal imports have slumped 32 per cent in the first  eight months of the year, deliveries from North Korea have surged 33  per cent to 13.4 million tonnes, making it China’s third biggest foreign  supplier.

“This big rise is probably down to North Korea’s industrialisation,  which should have spurred an increase in production,” a  coal analyst with China’s Guangfa Securities, Yao Yao, said.

Xinhua reported that the new route was established by the Longkou Port Group, Liaoning  Hongxiang Industrial Group and a North Korean shipping company.

The report said that the Longkou Port handled 75.07 million tonnes of cargo and 550,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers in 2014.

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