Leaders from China and Cuba’s silk industry gathered here on Friday [11 August 2017] to discuss ways to expand silk production in the Caribbean country and explore a new area of bilateral growth. The seminar sponsored in Havana by the Center for Foreign Economic Cooperation (CCEE) of the Ministry of Agriculture of China offered guidance on improving the production and industrialization of silk in Cuba…Full Article: China Daily Aug 2017

Key Point

  • The Chairman of Guangdong SILDA Silk noted that he hopes his company will have an opportunity to expand into Cuba.

ChinaAg Comments

  • Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, Guangdong (Shenzhen) SILDA Silk is a state-owned enterprise that manufactures and distributes silk products. It is China’s leading silk producer and owns subsidiaries in Guangdong, Hunan, Hainan and Guangxi.
  • Silk production originated in China and the country typically accounts (as of 2012) for over half world’s silk. India is the second largest producer, but only produces approximately 12-14% of the world’s silk. Following India, there is a mix of small producing nations including Vietnam, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Iran, Romania, and Brazil.
  • The vast majority of Chinese silk originates from the mulberry silkworm (Bombyx mori). During the moth stage of its lifecycle, the insect feeds on the leaves of mulberry trees. Silk production occurs during the pupa phase of their life cycle when the larva encloses itself in a cocoon made up of raw silk. Once enclosed and before the moth emerges, the cocoon is dropped into boiling water to be “degummed” (i.e. extracted) and fed into the spinning reel. In 2011, Guangxi province produced 296,263 MTs of mulberry silkworm cocoons or 36% of China’s total output.  Following Guangxi were Sichuan province at 112,164 MTs, Guangdong province at 96,128 MTs, and Jiangsu province at 70,680 MTs.
  • Non-mulberry silkworm cocoon production in China primarily focuses on wild silk from the Chinese Tussah moth (Antheraea spp.). This moth typically feeds on trees (e.g. oaks) and its larvae spin coarser, flatter, yellower filament than the mulberry silk moth. Wild silk denotes that the silk is harvested (i.e. degummed) after the moth has emerged from the cocoon. Non-mulberry silkworm cocoon production occurs primarily in the northern areas of the country. In 2011, Liaoning province produced 54,930 MTs of non-mulberry silkworm cocoons or 69% of China’s total output. Following Liaoning were Inner Mongolia region at 7,318 MTs and Henan province at 7,066 MTs.

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