A group of wool brokers has returned from a study tour of China focusing on wool processing beyond the farm gate.
The 31 Fox and Lillie Group staff — including employees from Benalla, Horsham and Mildura — discussed current processing and market trends for wool with their Chinese counterparts.
They also witnessed the processing of Australian Merino fleece wools, skirtings, short carding types and crossbreds.
With China purchasing about 80 per cent of Australia’s wool, Fox and Lillie Group managing director Jonathon Lillie said the market in China was booming.
‘‘They are the world leading consumers of apparel wool production which they buy and use across every micron and type,’’ Mr Lillie said.
The team of staff also celebrated the company’s 70th anniversary while in the southern city of Zhangjiagang, which includes the greatest concentration of wool users in the world.
Brokerage manager Eamon Timms said the wool pipeline had continued to change with China’s growth.
‘‘Much larger percentages of Australian wool going to China are now made into knitwear, with China embracing fancier knits and styles favouring a darker colour palette for the 2017-18 season,’’ Mr Timms said.