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

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BEIJING-China's exports grew 9.0% in September from a year earlier in yuan terms, following a 6.9% gain in August, official data showed Friday.

That is the joint-highest monthly level this year, tying the figure from March.

China's imports of North Korean goods plummeted for a seventh consecutive month in September.

Imports for the first three quarters were 3.44 million tonnes, down 9.4 percent on the same period a year ago, customs said.

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The country's trade surplus last month narrowed to 193 billion yuan ($29.3 billion) from 286.49 billion yuan in August.

That compares with a 5.5 percent rise in exports and a 13.3 percent jump in imports seen the month before.

A rebound in China's exports this year has helped support Chinese economic growth this year.

In line with UN Security Council Resolution 2375, China fully banned the imports of North Korean textile products from September 23rd.

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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.

"Nonetheless, today's figures suggest that not only has strong foreign demand continued to prop up manufacturing activity in China but domestic demand remains resilient, too", Evans-Pritchard said.

But Evans-Pritchard said the figures were skewed because there were more working days last month compared with last year's period, as the almost week-long Mid-Autumn Festival holiday was held in September 2016.

China-U.S. ties have also been strained by demands that Beijing do more to pressure North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

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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.

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