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 Mongolia aims to globalize cashmere trade via joint platform with

ULAANBAATAR/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Mongolia, supplier of about 40 percent of the world’s raw cashmere, hopes to boost profit trading in the wool used in some of the world’s priciest luxury fashions by opening up a new online platform for global buying via China’s Bohai exchange.

In a statement on Friday, the Mongolian Commodity Exchange (MCE) said the platform should begin trading in mid-April. Until now, traders or their representatives have had to be physically present to buy cashmere from the MCE, Mongolia’s only permitted cashmere trader.

The exchange said trading in agricultural products and also coal and copper could follow at a later date. But cashmere currently accounts for around 90 percent of the exchange’s total trade: In 2017, 7,000 tonnes of washed cashmere were sold on the MCE with a total value of 521 billion tugrik ($217.99 million).

“Cooperation with the Bohai Commodity Exchange is opening up a market for Mongolian commodities not only in China but to other countries as well,” Chuluunbaatar Bayar, general manager of the MCE, told Reuters.

“Italian buyers would be able to buy Mongolian cashmere via the Bohai exchange, for example,” Chuluunbaatar said. “The online platform allows factories to purchase Mongolian cashmere through the Bohai commodity exchange directly, without sending their representatives to Mongolia.”

The cashmere launch follows the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with the Bohai Commodity Exchange (BOCE) in January. BOCE already trades a variety of textile products including cotton, cashmere, goose feathers and eiderdown.