Trade fair to promote cashmere industry

Updated: 2011-10-13 10:58

By Yu Hongyan (

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Cashmere World, an international trade fair for the cashmere industry, is to open in Beijing on Oct 24.

The three-day event is to promote the cashmere industry by covering market potential, fashion trends and quality issues.

China is the world's largest cashmere supplier, producing more than 75 percent of the world's cashmere raw material and pre-treating over 90 percent of the world's total, according to Tian Hong, director of the Animal By-products and Carpet Department of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CFNA).

China's cashmere and cashmere product exports totaled $963 million in the first eight months of 2011, up 32.4 percent year-on-year, according to Customs statistics.

Tian said the growth is mainly driven by the price hikes caused by rising material costs. But he also noted that it signaled the increased added value in the industry due to upgrade efforts.

Tian said that the material cost is unlikely to fall, which poses a question for the sustainability of the industry.

As the world's annual cashmere output is less than 10,000 tons, the answer is to highlight its scarcity and foster the high-end market instead of making cashmere a staple good, Tian said.

Though claiming the crown of cashmere output, China cashmere products are in the lower-end market and 85 percent of its exports in this sector are OEM (original equipment manufacturer) products.

Italy, which absorbed 76.4 percent of China's dehaired wool exports in 2010 (worth $168 million), is the leader in the luxury cashmere product market.

Italy exported $17.29 million worth of cashmere products to China in the first seven months of this year, up 144 percent year-on-year, and accounted for 44.6 percent of China's total cashmere product imports, according to Customs statistics.

With the rising domestic demand, China will cooperate more with Italy in this sector to strengthen soft powers like processing and design, according to Tian.

The Cashmere World 2011 will offer a series of events for Sino-Italian exchanges in this area, according to the organizers, the CFNA and the United Business Media Limited.