Global demand for raw wool was weak before much of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and travel, social and economic restrictions were imposed. This is illustrated by the trends in the volume of exports from the five major wool exporting countries. The total wool exports from the five major exporting countries was 10% lower this season to February compared with the previous season. Exports from Australia, Argentina and Uruguay were all lower this season. The largest decline was for Uruguay, down by 34%, while Argentina’s and Australia’s exports were down by 16% and 15% respectively. In contrast, export volumes from New Zealand and South Africa were both higher. South Africa’s exports were up by 25% compared with this time last year. This is almost entirely due to the resumption of trade between South Africa and China following the ban following the Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak. New Zealand and South Africa’s exports will fall in March onwards as a result of the ban on wool auctions and other transport restrictions.
Looking at imports by the major processing countries, many have seen a drop in the raw wool imports. Exports of raw wool to China dropped by 11% year-on-year for the eight months to February 2020. Exports to Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic have all seen significant declines this season to date, as have exports to ‘other’ countries (which includes Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Egypt). India and ‘Other Europe’ have both recorded modest increases in imports from the five major wool exporting countries.
Further details, including charts showing the latest statistics on exports from the five major wool exporting countries and imports by the major wool processing countries, is available in the full version of this week’s edition of the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter. Available to members.