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Alpaca may offer alternative to Australian Merino wool

12
Dec '11
In Australia, alpaca wool is being considered to offer an alternative to Merino wool that is sold to China. This week, 17 bales of alpaca wool from Western Australia and New South Wales were sold at a sale that was conducted after the Merino sale.

On the basis of a bale of alpaca wool sold to China last year, buyers have now expressed interest to purchase another 100 bales of alpaca wool from Australia.

However, as the alpaca industry in the country is very small, merchants were unable to source 100 bales. The demand is now likely to be met through breeding.

In the past, alpaca wool was bought only by a cooperative called Australia Alpaca Fleece Limited, which went private later on.

Last year, as the alpaca wool growers were not receiving good returns for their wool, they approached a local merchant, who sold a bale for around 2800 Australian cents a kg to China.

Tests show alpaca fleece possessing properties similar to an 18 or 19 micron Merino clip. But, alpaca fleece lacks the lanolin content found in Merino.

Since the yield of alpaca is higher than Merino, traders expect to meet the current demand by getting few more breeders and increasing volume of present ones.

Traders expect alpaca wool to spark more interest among buyers owing to its luster and softness. They say alpaca fleece can compete in global market with cashmere and other wools if it is produced to exact specifications.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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