Xinhua world economic news summary at 0900 GMT, May 17

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BEIJING -- Pork prices in China edged down last month as supply increased and demand softened, official data showed.

The average pork price index in 16 provincial-level regions tracked by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs came in at 43.37 yuan (about 6 U.S. dollars) per kg in April, down 8.4 percent month on month.

The price retreat came as the government has been taking multi-pronged measures to boost supply, including releasing frozen pork reserves and expanding imports. (China-Pork Price)

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BEIJING -- China's agricultural products trade reported a deficit of 20.94 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, up 23.5 percent year on year, official statistics showed.

Imports increased by 8.8 percent year on year to 37.31 billion U.S. dollars while exports went down 5.7 percent to 16.37 billion U.S. dollars, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Total farm produce trade volume rose 3.9 percent year on year to 53.68 billion U.S. dollars in the first three months.

Total imports of corn grew 27.3 percent year on year to 1.25 million tonnes in Q1 while imports of pork reached 928,000 tonnes, up 180 percent year on year. (China-Farm Produce Trade)

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CAPE TOWN -- South Africa's mining giant Impala Platinum (Implats) has suspended one of its platinum mines due to "a cluster of positive COVID-19 cases" among its workers, the company said Saturday.

In a statement, Implats said it has identified 19 positive cases, all asymptomatic, over the past week at the Marula Mine in Limpopo Province.(SAfrica-Mine-COVID-19)

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DUBLIN -- Ireland's exports of goods hit a record high of 16.2 billion euros (about 17.5 billion U.S. dollars) in March, up 39 percent year-on-year, according to the latest figures released by the country's Central Statistics Office.

Meanwhile, it imported a total of 6.95 billion euros worth of goods, down 9.45 percent year-on-year, with a trade surplus at about 9.3 billion euros, up nearly 133 percent year-on-year.

In the first quarter of this year, the total goods exported by Ireland were valued at about 42.35 billion euros, up by almost 13 percent year-on-year whereas its total imported goods were valued at about 21.83 billion euros, down less than 0.1 percent year-on-year.

The country's trade surplus for the first quarter of this year increased by more than 30 percent to 20.5 billion euros when compared with the corresponding period of last year. (1 euro = 1.082 U.S. dollars) (Ireland-Trade) Enditem

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