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South Africa Wool Ban to China

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In a devastating decision for the South African wool industry the Chinese government has placed an import ban on South African wool due to an outbreak of foot & mouth disease.  Considering that the outbreak was only found in the far north region of the country, where wool is not grown, this could be seen as a knee jerk reaction.

It is a double blow to South Africa’s wool industry, with the Lesotho government introducing a less than well considered, and one-sided licensing arrangement that has effectively stopped Lesotho wool being sold through the South African auction system. Lesotho wool growers that contribute some 5 million kg to the South African wool clip have been forced to comply with these new regulations introduced by the Lesotho government. However it seems that the Lesotho government,  aware that the new system is not working for the local Lesotho wool growers, is working to make amendments.

South Africa is the second biggest producer of Merino wool after Australia, producing around 50 million kgs of greasy wool, and almost all of this is for export with around 67% going to China. So, it is a big blow. It will put additional pressure on the supply of merino wool worldwide.

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