Wool Trade

Wool ties strengthen between India and Australia

Sheep Central, December 4, 2023

WoolProducers president Steve Harrison, left, with Romesh Khajuria, chairman of Indian Wool & Woollens Export Promotion Council at ‘Redesdale’ near Bendigo.

RECENT interactions between Australian wool growers and India’s processing sector could help increase Australia’s share in the important market.

Peak grower body WoolProducers Australia has recently spent time relationship building with India, in a move to foster relationships between the two countries.

WoolProducers said the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), that from 29 December 2022 removed tariffs for Australia’s raw wool, has already shown positive results.

Wool exports from Australia to India increased from 11 million kgs (US$110 million) in 2021-22 to 14 million kgs (US$135 million) in 2022-23, despite the ECTA being in place for only six months of the last financial year.

WoolProducers chief executive officer Jo Hall said the potential demand for wool in India presents a significant opportunity for the Australian wool industry to expand its market share.

“With the support of the ECTA, the Australian wool industry could establish itself as a reliable supplier and contribute to the growth of India’s woollen sector.”

WoolProducers Australia in talks with Government of India and woollen textile officials.

Ms Hall travelled to India in late October to engage with key government and industry stakeholders and explore trade expansion and risk mitigation opportunities for the Australian wool industry.

“The visit proved integral in further strengthening our ties with India,” she said.

“A Roundtable held in Delhi on October 25th, 2023, aimed to strengthen collaboration and explore opportunities for cooperation in the wool sector, marking the second in-country meeting in just seven months.”

A large Indian delegation, comprising senior industry and government representatives, then attended the Global Sourcing Expo in Melbourne, coinciding with another Australian-Indian Wool Roundtable in late November, to further deepen bilateral ties.

Two days before the roundtable in Melbourne, WoolProducers president, Steve Harrison, hosted Mr. Romesh Khajuria, chairman of the Indian Wool and Woollens Export Promotion Council and Dr Arvind Kumar, an Indian Government delegate, on a day trip to AWTA, the Melbourne Wool Selling Centre to meet with some industry colleagues, and to “Redesdale” near Bendigo to observe shearing and wool classing.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to host some of our Indian colleagues and show them Australia’s world leading practices in terms of wool testing, standards, shearing and classing,” Mr Harrison said.

“Our Indian guests, Mr Romesh Khajuria, Chairman of Indian Wool & Woollens Export Promotion Council and Dr Arvind Kumar, from the Indian government, were delighted to experience all of the goings on during shearing at ‘Redesdale’, Bendigo.”

WoolProducers said India, as the world’s second-largest consumer of wool, is witnessing a surge in demand for both raw wool and woollen products. With an annual production of about 40 million kgs of wool and imports totalling 30 million kgs, India’s woollen industry is poised for growth in the coming years.

Ms Hall said India has extended an invitation to Australia to attend Bharat Tex 2024 in February 2024, providing an opportunity for further cooperation discussions and exploring business opportunities between the two countries.

“India has also expressed interest in a reciprocal visit to Australia in mid-2024, offering an avenue to advance discussions on agreed cooperation interests and facilitate farm visits.”

This collaboration between Australia and India marks an exciting time for both countries to seize the potential offered by this market and foster mutually beneficial trade relationships, WoolProducers said.


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