Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein
Oil prices in North Korea plummeted late last month after climbing at the start of the year. North Korea has reportedly been receiving supplies of oil from China as the two nations show signs of growing closer.
The price of diesel was KPW 3,500 in Pyongyang, KPW 6,000 in Sinuiju and KPW 6,300 in Hyesan as of Jan. 25. This was respectively 56%, 24% and 23% less than it was on Jan. 11, as determined by Daily NK.
The price of oil, on which North Korea completely depends on imports, fluctuates relatively wildly depending on supply. Even so, this was a 23-56% fall in just two weeks.
Particularly in the case of Pyongyang, the price of diesel fell to KPW 3,500, the first time it has done so since 2011, a decade ago.
Gasoline prices fell relatively less than diesel. Gasoline was KPW 10,000 a kilogram in Pyongyang, KPW 11,000 in Sinuiju and KPW 12,000 in Hyesan as of Jan. 11. As of Jan. 25, it was KPW 6,700 in Pyongyang, KPW 11,000 in Sinuiju and KPW 11,100 in Hyesan.
As in the case with diesel, the price drop for gasoline was most pronounced in Pyongyang, where prices fell 33% from Jan. 11.
In Hyesan, however, gasoline prices fell just 7.5% from two weeks earlier, and in Sinuiju they did not change at all.
Diesel prices fell more than gasoline prices because the new supplies from China reportedly focused on diesel.
According to a source, diesel accounted for a large share of the imports smuggled into North Korea by way of illegal transhipment in international waters from ships leaving the Chinese port of Dalian in Liaoning Province.
The source claims North Korea has smuggled oil from China “countless times” since the middle of last month.
Prices fell most precipitously in Pyongyang seemingly because the capital received not only the first supplies but also the most.
(Source and full article: Jang Seul Gi, “North Korea appears to have received supplies of oil from China,” Daily NK, February 4th, 2021.)View Original Article