The feather and down industry sees the price of raw feather and down products rebound to the level at the beginning of 2008 after touching a 5-year low during the economic slowdown, reports the Ministry of Commerce.
"The drastic price plunge devalued my stocks of 90,000 t by 100,000 yuan in a week at the worst time this year," said Li Fangyi, a duck and goose feather and down supplier in China.
The county, which produces 70% of China's supply of feather and down products, makes more than 1 bln yuan (US$144.9 mln) from raising poultry and processing feathers every year.
Li's factory purchases raw feathers and down from local farmers, and mainly supplies Wanlida Co., a big Chinese feather and down products manufacturer. He said he lost 7 mln yuan during a chain-effect business recession in the world market. Bankruptcy of upstream garment makers and canceled orders forced Wanlida to close its factory in Zhejiang Province and cut production. Wanlida's major client, US-based Pacific Coast Feather Co., abruptly canceled a 120 mln yuan order placed in August.
"When the price fell to a 5-year low in the first half of this year, I thought I could only start all over again from the bottom," said the 39-year-old feather supplier. Luckily, the price started to climb in the third quarter, and Li has just got several new orders of 250 t of feather and down products. "The county government has exempted feather businesses from a series of taxes and fees, and helped us obtain low-interest loans in order to seize the chance for an industry revival," he said.
He is optimistic about the future of his business, and believes the recovery will lead to a boom that would last for at least 3 years. "There is a rigid demand for feather and down products in the world market. People in western countries have particular favor for feather and down quilt and clothes," he said.
Ji Jianhua, a goose farmer in the county, said he has planned to increase his flock of geese from 1,300 to 4,000, as the demand for feathers and down surged again.
China produces 80% of the world's supply of down and feathers, of which 90% are from ducks and 10% from geese. Industry sales hit US$1.88 bln last year, according to data from the China Feather and Down Industrial Association.
The data also suggested the industrial sales value of leather, fur, feather and related products increased 15.36%year on year in October, and 8.41% in the January-October period. The sales ratio stood at 96.87% in October, down 0.79% points from the same month of last year.
Source: Ministry of Commerce, China