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China's wool industry needs urgent upgradation
May '14
China has become one of the world’s largest wool processing and consuming countries and the world wool processing centre is gradually shifting to China.
As people increasing prefer natural fibres, the demand for imported fine wool has increased considerably and China currently imports more than 30 million tons of wool annually.
The growth trend in China’s wool imports will continue and will grow to 42.7 million tons by 2025, forecasts the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
Although China is the world’s second largest producer of wool, its dependence on imported wool is increasing mainly for the following three reasons. First is the lack of domestic supply of fine wool. In China, wool production is undertaken mostly by small-scale farmers and in scattered farming units, which leads to degradation of fine-wool sheep breeds, and a decline in the quality of wool as well.
The second reason is the disorder in the domestic wool market. There is lack of management on the professional division of labour, quality inspection, marketing and other aspects of wool. Compared with other countries, China’s wool grading system and the lack of an auction also results in wool of varying quality mixed up in a lot, which makes it difficult to achieve competitive prices.
The third reason is the price advantage of imported wool. Currently, China imports more than half of its wool requirements from Australia, with which a free trade agreement is being negotiated, which if materializes, will further give a shock to the Chinese wool industry.
In such a scenario, the Chinese wool industry is in urgent need of upgradation and the inspection and quarantine departments have made some recommendations. The first is to strengthen technical inputs and cultivation of improved breeds of sheep wool, so as to produce high-quality fine wool.
The second recommendation relates to adopting uniform wool quality standards and establishment of wool grading system, followed by setting up of domestic wool auction system, regulating the flow channels and remodeling the market image.
The final recommendation is to establish early warning mechanisms for information on imported wool, which can prevent excessive impact of imported wool on the sustainable development of the domestic wool industry in China.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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