Chinese app assisting in trade of Australian wool

WeChat assisting in trade of Australian wool to China

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Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app WeChat is assisting in the trade of wool.

Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app WeChat is assisting in the trade of wool.

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An app is assisting in the trade of 70-80 per cent of the non-indented wool sold from Australia to China.

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An app is assisting in the trade of 70-80 per cent of the non-indented wool sold from Australia to China.

WeChat, a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app owned by Tencent, which is almost like a combination of Facebook Messenger, Apple Pay and Instagram, allows users to communicate with each other and complete a financial transaction.

Fox & Lillie Rural technical and marketing manager Eamon Timms said in the last two to three years, the app had become popular among Chinese wool buyers.

Mr Timms said the app wouldn't replace the traditional auction selling system, but it allowed for swift communication when it came to inquiries and negotiations.

"The offers are generated in an email which goes out, but you'll start to get the back and forth from clients through WeChat," he said.

"Then the confirmation of business and contracts are done by email."

He reiterated that trade through WeChat only occurred on non-indent orders - any trade conducted outside of the auction - but said sometimes that could be a significant portion of the market.

"Depending on the week and what's happening, the indent portion of the market can be relatively small to significant," he said.

"And there are some buyers who will only buy wool through indent, some who never will and some who use a mix."

He said given it was a Chinese app, he hadn't anticipated that other countries would begin using it but said there were other apps that assisted in communication elsewhere.

"Other people in the world use WhatsApp, which is a similar app, to communicate, and in particular it appears some users in India like to use it," he said.

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Mr Timms said interestingly and frustratingly, inquiry from China came in over the phone and through WeChat after the final sale was completed late last week.

The wool market is currently in the first week of its three-week winter recess.

"A number of various players from China came in hard on the heels of the sale trying to buy more wool," he said.

"It was a frustrating situation given the opportunity to buy had just passed but hopefully such interest will remain in place in August when sales resume."

He assumed the interest came off the back of two positive sales, which "gave them a bit of confidence".

"Given the reality that we have had two large volume sales in a row and had high clearance rates with passed-in rates much lower than recent months, it had been a better finish than expected," he said.

But he said there was a long way to go before the market showed signs of a long-term recovery.

"A lot of things still need to be sorted out in the supply chain," he said.

"I don't think anyone's anticipating there'll be any great push up [when the market resumes]."

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The story Chinese app assisting in trade of Australian wool first appeared on Farm Online.

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