The General Administration of Customs of China and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs lifted the ban on Tuesday after conducting a full consultation and risk-evaluation process.
This after it imposed the ban on wool and cloven-hoofed animals’ skin products imported from South Africa earlier this year.
“China has been South Africa’s largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years. In 2021, the total trade volume between China and South Africa reached US$54.35 billion, with a year-on-year growth of 50.7%, of which China’s imports from South Africa reached US$33.23 billion, up by 59.6% year-on-year,” said the China Embassy in South Africa in a statement.
China banned the export of wool from South Africa due to the outbreak of Foot-and Mouth disease in some parts of the country earlier this year.
SA wool sector relieved on the unban
In a joint statement, Agri SA and the National Wool Growers’ Association of South Africa (NWGA) have expressed relief on the lifting of the ban.
“We are relieved to learn that the South African government has secured the agreement of the government of China to lift the ban on South African wool exports,” said the joint statement.
According to them, the ban has left more than 35 000 people and an additional 4 500 seasonal employees jobless.
South Africa produces wool valued at R5 billion a year, about 70 to 80% of wool clip is exported to China.
There are about 6 000 commercial and 4 000 communal wool producers in SA. The emerging sector produces about 13% of the national wool clip.
“We want to thank Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, and Minister for Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, as well as the directors general of these departments for their working in securing this relief. This is an example of what can be achieved through effective partnership between industry and Government,” the statement read.