XINING, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Qinghai, a plateau province known for caterpillar fungus production in northwest China, saw a surging export volume of the species in the first eight months of this year.
The total weight of the caterpillar fungi exported from the province increased by 69.5 percent year on year from January to August, with the average price up 18 percent, according to the customs in the provincial capital of Xining.
The export value doubled that of the same period of last year, with more than 47.8 million yuan (7.3 million U.S. dollars) of the fungus exported to four countries and regions, said Liu Haoguang, an official with the Xining customs.
China is the largest caterpillar fungus producer in the world, with the production bases distributed in the Tibet Autonomous Region and provinces of Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan. Among them, the caterpillar fungus production volume in Qinghai accounts for 65 percent of the country's total.
Found only at high altitudes, the fungus, known in China as "winter-worm summer-grass," is said to be effective in treating cancer and boosting the immune system.