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SA should intensify efforts to diversify its wool export markets to remain viable, the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) says. This follows the temporary suspension of wool imports from SA by China due to a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. The wool industry suffered a major setback a few weeks ago following the move by China. The disease broke out in Limpopo in January, resulting in the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) temporarily suspending SA’s FMD-free zone status.  Wool is ranked the sixth-largest exportable commodity in SA’s agricultural sector. In 2018, wool accounted for 4% of SA’s agricultural exports of $10.6bn. Heavy reliance on the Chinese market might have served SA well when there was minimal trade friction, the chamber says. It is however now proving to be a challenge and is highlighting the need to diversify wool export markets in the medium to long term to avert a similar challenge in the future. “While this [diversification] would be a...

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