The Australia alpaca industry recently completed its biggest ever export of quality breeding stock to China.
The precious cargo of 525 stud animals, sourced from Victoria and South Australia, is also believed to be the largest number of alpacas ever to land in China.
The breeding males and pregnant females travelled last week in crates on a chartered Singapore Airlines 747 freighter aircraft, a 10.5 hour journey.
The alpacas will form a breeding herd at Shanxi University and will also be used for genetic research into wool colour.
With China being the biggest textile producer in the world, Western Australian exporter Steve Ridout, of Wildflower Alpacas and Quarantine Services, says he's pleased to finally crack the market.
"It's a major significant breakthrough for the Australian alpaca industry, he said.
"The China market obviously opens up a large market. It actually gives us an impetus for all our breeders, large and small, to keep growing fine alpacas.
“There’s a lot of scope for growth. There’s obviously a lot of people in China and a lot of people with money to spend.
“The alpaca industry itself is unique, the wool itself is very unique and the Chinese are looking at the fibre industry and developing one over there in China for future growth.”
Mr Ridout has been exporting alpacas since 2008 to Europe, New Zealand, Thailand and the United States.
Source: ABC Rural