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A fibre of success: Celebration of five decades of Australian wool trade to China

In 2018, the Australian wool industry is celebrating more than 50 years of successful wool trade to China – a relationship that has established China as Australia’s largest customer, buying about 80% of Australia’s wool.

Today, Australia exports 271 million kilograms of the natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre to China, a sharp rise from pre-1980 when this figure stood at less than 10 million kilograms. Once predominately a manufacturing hub, China in recent years has also fast become a large consumer of luxury apparel.

The Chinese textile and apparel market is worth a staggering $2.76 billion as part of China’s transformation into a global powerhouse following its decision to open up to the international economy. With 1.4 billion people driving a new consumer culture and an economy growing at more than 7% per year, today it seems the only constant in China is change, but what endures is the country’s vast appetite and passion for Australian Merino wool and its deeply committed relationship with Australian woolgrowers.

In a series of special initiatives throughout the year, The Woolmark Company is marking more than half a century of a cross-cultural partnership between Australia and China – spanning the wool trade through to design creativity. A delegation of Chinese media, industry and influencers visited Australia in May, to not only experience the origin of this fine fibre but also celebrate the special bond between the two countries.

Image: AWI’s Henry Ridge explains wool production to Chinese delegates

Source: Leading Agriculture

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