October 12, 2007
October 12, 2007 - After months of negotiation between the Australian wool industry and the Chinese government, the Chinese Ministry of Finance and Commerce (MOFCOM) has announced that China's wool import quota amounts for 2008 are to remain unchanged at 287 million kg for raw wool and 80 million kg for tops. This announcement comes after the wool industry scare on July 17. At that time, the Chinese industry said that the processing of applications by Chinese importers and mills for quota was suspended.
MOFCOM has, however, changed the rules to favor processors and genuine importers.
Another strong week of price gains in the Australian raw wool market pushed the US$ wool price to a 17-year high. At the Oct. 2-4 sales, the growing indications that a quota announcement was imminent were believed to be a significant factor in China having its strongest week on the Australian market since MOFCOM's decision to suspend the issuing of new wool import permits as of July 17.
"This sudden change and trade restriction reminds us that it is important to have a diversified customer base when exporting wool. China is a very important customer for U.S. wools, but we've also developed other markets in other countries to minimize the risk of all wool going to just one country," said Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI wool marketing director. Reprinted in part from the Wool Record Weekly
Staff contact: Rita Kourlis Samuelson ext. 29