Wool exports rise for Australia, NZ and South Africa, down for South American countries
The latest data on wool exports from the five major wool producing and exporting countries show some stark difference between countries. The volume of wool exported from Australia in February jumped by 30% compared with February 2020. It should be said that the export volume in February 2020 of 21.5 mkg greasy was the lowest February monthly total at least since 1979 (as far as my databases go back). The 30% increase in export volumes in February 2021 only took the monthly total back to a typical level of 28.1 mkg greasy. The main driver of the increase in wool export volumes was a 64% increase in exports to China. For the 2020/21 season to February, export volumes were up by 6%, to 163.5 mkg.
Exports by New Zealand were up by 5.7% for the 2020/21 season to February even though prices for the broad Crossbred wool produced by New Zealand remain relatively low. While New Zealand’s exports to China are higher, up by 3%, the main reason for the increase in New Zealand’s exports is a 56% increase in exports to India and a 38% increase in exports to Germany. The lift in exports to India for NZ is in stark contrast to the 47% drop in Australia’s wool exports to India this season. Exports by South Africa were also up, by an even stronger 15%, helped by a 19% increase in exports to China and a 21% increase in exports to the Czech Republic.
Exports from the two South American countries (Uruguay and Argentina) fell in the seven months between July 2020 and February 2021. Exports from Uruguay were 19% lower while exports from Argentina were down by 16%. Both South American countries have seen substantial declines in exports to China, by 19% for Argentina and by 42% for Uruguay. Overall, exports from the five major producing and exporting countries were up by 4% for the July 2020 to February 2021 period, suggesting a moderate improvement in demand.
Further details, including a chart showing the total volume of exports by each of the five major producing and exporting countries, are provided in this week’s edition of the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter. Available to NCWSBA members.