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Australian exporters and brokers see strength in Vietnam

10 December 2014

A delegation of Australian wool exporters and brokers travelled to Vietnam in September with The Woolmark Company to see first-hand the progress of The Woolmark Company’s ‘Out of Vietnam’ project, which is developing a sustainable wool supply chain in Vietnam and expanding its current manufacturing sector.

Watswool Pty Ltd Managing Director James Watson with The Woolmark Company General Manager for Product Development and Commercialistion Jimmy Jacks on the tour
Watswool Pty Ltd Managing Director James Watson (right) with The Woolmark Company General Manager for Product Development and Commercialistion Jimmy Jackson (centre) on the tour.

The tour also provided the delegation with the opportunity to provide feedback on the project as well as their thoughts for the project’s future.

With Australia sending three quarters of its wool to China and becoming increasingly reliant on this country, The Woolmark Company launched its ‘Out of Vietnam’ project two years ago to develop a new processing and manufacturing market for Australian wool. 

Visiting a range of different types of companies manufacturing sweaters, socks, underwear and accessories, the delegation also visited Vietnamese retailer Canifa to gain a better understanding of wool manufacturing and sales.

The Woolmark Company General Manager for Product Development and Commercialistion Jimmy Jackson led the tour, alongside The Woolmark Company Trade Consultant Scott Carmody.

“The tour provided us with the opportunity to provide key members of the Australian wool industry with an insight into the Vietnamese textile market, and see firsthand the opportunity for wool in Vietnam,” Mr Jackson said.

“Since The Woolmark Company launched the Out of Vietnam project two years ago, it has gone from strength to strength, and now has a total of 53 partners which has surpassed our expectations in this short time.

The exporters and brokers who joined us on the tour were also impressed by the scale of the project.”

Watswool Pty Ltd Managing Director James Watson was one representative who travelled to Vietnam and backs The Woolmark Company’s decision to focus on this market.

“Vietnam is already a textile processing hub supplying the world with a range of knitted and woven products,” Mr Watson said.

“With help from The Woolmark Company, Vietnam can easily incorporate wool into existing and new products providing the Australian wool industry with a fresh and exciting new market.”

Quality Wool Managing Director Mark Dyson echoed Mr Watson’s sentiments, and said it was very promising to see Vietnam increase its usage of wool and was impressed by the variety.

“We will certainly see more of the ‘Made in Vietnam’ label in the future,” he said.

“It was very encouraging to see the wide range of wool microns being used by the various knitting companies in Vietnam, from 18.5 microns through to coarser crossbred types in the 34-36 micron range. This enables them to utilise wool in different fashion ranges for their target markets around the world, including Japan, Korea, Europe and the US.

“Numerous knitting companies, especially the flat-bed knitters, are developing strongly and this is highlighted by their ability to upgrade from cheaper, imported second-hand machinery to investing in state-of-the- art German and Japanese flat-bed knitting machines.

“With the improved performance and investments being made by these companies, it augurs well for the Vietnamese wool textile industry and, hence, its requirement for Australian wool.”

Read more on The Woolmark Company's Out of Vietnam project