Data on exports from the five major wool producing and exporting countries for the full 2016/17 season shows that total exports fell by 3% compared with the 2015/16 level. This is the second consecutive season that total exports from the five major exporters declined and, at 572 mkg, the total export volume was the lowest in the past decade or more. [The five major wool exporting countries are: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Uruguay]. Exports from Australia and South Africa increased in 2016/17. Of course, these two countries are the major exporters of Merino wool, which saw strong demand throughout 2016/17. In contrast, exports from New Zealand and Uruguay, which both produce mainly broader Crossbred and Corriedale wool respectively, saw export volumes drop as demand dried up. The decline was particularly fierce for New Zealand.
In terms of exports by major detsination, export volumes to all the countries and regions shown were in the red for the 12 months to June 2017, although exports to Europe were only slightly lower. Exports to China are, however, firmly on the upswing. There were some big differences in the export volumes by the five major exporting countries to China. Australia exported 10% more wool to China in 2016/17 than in 2015/16 and South Africa exported 3% more wool to China in 2016/17. In contrast, New Zealand exported 35% less wool to China in 2016/17 than in 2015/16 and Uruguay exported 38% less.
Full details including charts showing the volume of exports by each country for the past six financial years since 2011/2 and the trends in exports to the major wool processing countries and regions are provided in the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter, available to NCWSBA Members.