The latest trade data from the five major wool exporting countries shows the strong contrast between demand for wool those countries producing Merino wool and those producing broader, Crossbred wool. Exports from Australia and Argentina are up this season to March, while exports from South Africa are slightly down. In contrast, exports from NZ and Uruguay are down substantially. No wonder the representatives from those countries attending the recent IWTO Congress were disappointed with current market conditions for their wool!
It doesn’t take much to discover what is driving the decline in wool exports from NZ and Uruguay – it is a sharp drop in demand from China. For the 12 months to March, China’s imports from NZ were 37% below the previous 12 months, while China’s imports from Uruguay were a massive 47% lower. For both countries, China has been the major export destination, so this decline in demand has hit hard. Australia and South Africa have fared much better and are at around the same levels in the 12 months to March as in the previous 12 months, and are on an upward swing.
Full details, including a chart showing the wool exports from Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, South Africa and Argentina for the July to March period of 2016/17 and the previous five seasons and a second chart showing the trends in imports of raw wool by China from these countries are included in the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter for the week ending 19th May 2017. Available to NCWSBA members.