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Wool knitwear & womenswear imports fall
15
Jul '08
After the strong retail demand enjoyed during 2006, wool end-product demand declined moderately in South Korea in 2007. The trend continued in the first 3 months of 2008.

Reflecting higher wool yarn and fabric prices and strong pressure at retail to keep apparel prices flat, domestic demand of wool products at retail (as measured by Woolmark's Net Domestic Availability statistics) fell in Korea in 2007 (year-on-year).

The slowdown in the pace of chiefly-wool winter apparel imports, mainly from China, hit wool product demand hard with a strong fall in the December quarter. During the last 3 months of 2007, compared with a year ago, both wool knitwear and womenswear imports fell. Menswear imports remained relatively strong with smaller falls, helped by stable men's suit imports.

The decline continued into the 1st quarter of 2008, with retail wool demand remaining moderately below year earlier levels.

Retail performance indicators released by the government, on the other hand, show a boost in consumer purchase levels in recent months.

Department store sales statistics by Korea National Statistical Office (KNSO) recorded the third consecutive monthly year-on-year growth in March. Despite these firm results, the outlook for consumer apparel purchases this year remains cautious, as consumer confidence is deteriorating sharply.

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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