North Korea's exports of anthracite to China tumbled nearly 18 percent in 2014 from the previous year, the first annual drop in eight years, data showed Friday.
North Korea exported US$1.13 billion worth of anthracite to China last year, down 17.6 percent from a year earlier, according to data from the Korea International Trade Association.
It was the first on-year decline in North Korea's anthracite exports to China since 2006.
The volume of anthracite exports also decreased 6.4 percent on-year to 15.43 million tons last year, according to the KITA.
Despite the drop, anthracite accounted for 39.8 percent of North Korea's total exports to China in 2014.
Experts pointed out the fall in coal exports may be connected to North Korea's execution of Jang Song-thaek in late 2013.
Jang, the uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and once the second most powerful man in the country, was executed for treason. He was also charged with "recklessly selling" coal and other precious natural resources to foreign countries.
According to the data, North Korea's exports of iron ore to China plunged 25.7 percent on-year to $218.6 million last year, the smallest amount since 2010. (Yonhap)