China is Australia’s largest wool customer, buying about 80 per cent of Australian wool. China has a vast appetite for Australian Merino wool. With increased affluence and a tendency towards leading healthier lifestyles, discerning Chinese consumers are now favoring natural, long-lasting garments, more so than following the latest trends perpetuated by fast fashion. Unemployment is low, salaries have been rising, and pension schemes have given people a greater security of income and more money to spend.
China’s wool imports have increased 4.5 per cent from the previous year. Domestic consumption of woolen products in China has grown dramatically in the last five years. If previously most processing was for export, today at least 50 per cent is for domestic use, and this is growing year by year.
Although wool only represents 15 per cent of fibers consumed in China, the volumes are so large that even 15 per cent represents a huge quantity of wool. Even in Mongolia, a remote part of the world, women wear woolen coats. In 2018, the Australian wool industry celebrates more than 50 years of a successful wool trade with China. Woolmark is marking more than half a century of a cross-cultural partnership between Australia and China.