cripples

Cashmere piles up in Mongolia as coronavirus cripples trading

EMEELT, Mongolia — After years of expanding their goat herds to meet growing demand for soft cashmere from Chinese traders and Western shoppers, Mongolian herders were looking forward to a bumper payoff this spring following the country’s usual long brutal winter.

The coronoavirus pandemic has crushed those hopes for herders like Munkhsaikhan Telmen.

He recently drove four hours from his family pasture in Tuv Province to the Emeelt market near Ulaanbaatar just to sell 2 kg of raw cashmere fiber for 90,000 tugrik ($34) in cash to meet immediate household expenses.

The bulk of the wool gathered from the Munkhsaikhans’

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