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Cashmere piles up in Mongolia as coronavirus cripples trading

Herders fret over debts with prices two-thirds lower than 2019

With Chinese and European clients canceling orders across the board for processed cashmere, Khatant International Chief Executive Bayarmaa Byambaa has idled her factory in Emeelt, Mongolia. (Photo by Anand Tumurtogoo)

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.

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