Merino demand takes relations to next step
Celebrations are in order to mark more than 50 years of Australia and Chinese wool trade relations.
This binding partnership has made China as the largest buyer of Australian wool, buying up to 80 per cent of its production.
Today, Australia exports 271 million kilograms of the natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre to China, representing a sharp rise from pre-1980 when this figure was less than 10 million kilogram. Once 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 cent annually, China is changing but what endures is the country’s vast appetite and passion for Australian Merino wool and its deeply committed relationship with Australian woolgrowers.
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.
Through hosting delegations like these to Australia, The Woolmark Company and Australian Wool Innovation aim to expose emerging consumer markets to Australian wool and broaden consumer choice in innovative wool garments.
In addition, a commemorative book sharing personal stories from industry stalwarts and those shaping its future has been produced.
AWI chief executive Stuart McCullough said China continues to remain the single most important buyer of Australian wool.
Merino wool is revered in China.