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Japanese market in search for top fleece

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A Japanese wool broker says that while Australian wool prices have doubled in Japan over the past year, it has not deterred the Japanese from buying. Despite the high prices, Mike Kuritani from Itochu, one of Japan’s largest trading companies, said demand will remain due to an appetite for high quality fine micron wool from Australia.

“A new market is coming up from sports apparel, for socks and innerwear,” he said.”So I don’t think overall the demand on wool will be decreased for the next couple of years.” Mr Kuritani said a combination of high wool prices and a weak Japanese Yen are behind the overall rise.

Itochu is sourcing high quality lambs wool from Hamilton in western Victoria and is using the region’s reputation as a marketing tool. ‘There are many factors that made Hamilton’s wool unique.’ he said “The environment in this region is different from any other region in Australia,”

“The humidity and moisture is very adequate, grass is plentiful and the nutrition makes the wool quality better than any other country.”

Paul Ferrenato, the wool trading manager for Victoria Wool Processors, said the number one priority for Japanese wool buyers was quality. “Price will be a slight deterrent but if they need product then they’re going to have to pay the price.”

Mr Ferrenato said the industry was focussed on keeping up with demand. “Their biggest concern is they do need wool to keep machinery operating and to keep orders moving,” he said. “(The price) is not deterring them but it is making it a little bit more difficult to digest the current levels.”

 

Source: ABC Rural

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