Australian wool industry boosted by demand from Chinese market: Aussie wool enterprise head

Business 9

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CANBERRA, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Australia's wool industry has welcomed increased demand in the Chinese market, an Aussie wool enterprise head said.

John Roberts, chief executive of Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), has returned to Australia after "a productive week" in China, meeting senior industry figures in Shanghai, Zhangjiagang, Tongxiang, Nanjing and Beijing.

He said that increased demand for wool and a growing appetite for locally-made brands in China is expected to drive an increase in the amount exported from Australia to China.

Roberts said it was important to go to China for the first time in almost four years because right throughout COVID-19, the partners were still able to support Australian wool growers and the domestic trade more broadly.

"And it was important to get up there and acknowledge that and thank the Chinese processing sector on behalf of our stakeholders," he said in a recent media release.

There was an underlying confidence in China and a quiet determination to expand in China, he added.

According to Roberts, Chinese consumers are buying local brands and designers, a massive shift from 10 to 15 years ago.

The chief executive said there had been major changes in both consumer and industry attitudes when it comes to environmental issues as well.

"There has been a massive shift towards traceability because there's been so much online buying, but the concept of sustainability in China has escalated at a rate I hadn't quite expected," he said.

"Every plant I went to has been updating, and I've never seen so many solar panels, and they weren't there four years ago. Overall, the expansion in plant capacity is incredible."

AWI is a not-for-profit enterprise that conducts research, development, and marketing along the worldwide supply chain of Australian wool to increase the long-term profitability of woolgrowers.

"Our trade-to-trade relationship is rock solid and always has been," he said. ■