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China's wool arrivals up nearly 12 pct in 2007
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China imported 311,000 tons of wool in 2007, a growth of 11.9 percent on the previous year, according to the General Administration of Customs.

The arrivals were valued at 1.79 billion U.S. dollars, up 42 percent. Average price of the imports went up 27 percent to 5,768 U.S. dollars per ton.

Industry observers attributed the increasing imports to limited domestic production and growing demand which was a result of establishment of more processing businesses.

Eyeing China's cheap labor force, processing companies from Austria, South Africa, Britain and France have moved their workshops to China.

In addition to the mounting demand, a drought-driven output decline in major wool production areas in Oceania contributed to the price rises, the observers added.

Of China's total wool imports last year, those bought by state-owned enterprises made up 13,000 tons, or 41.8 percent, and those from Australia accounted for 194,000 tons, or 62.4 percent.

(Xinhua News Agency March 16, 2008)

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