Curtis Wool Direct

South Africa Wool Output to Rise From Century Low

Buy and sell wool 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the world. Click here.

Wool output in South Africa, the world’s second-biggest producer of the variety used for clothes, may surge about 50 percent from the lowest in a century as local prices climbed amid global supply that’s at a 70-year low, the head of the main industry body said.

Production by South Africa, as well as the neighboring countries of Namibia and Lesotho, could climb to 75 million kilograms (165 million pounds) in the next three years as consumers’ demand for apparel made from the fiber increases, Cape Wools Chief Executive Officer Louis de Beer said.

“There is a market gap,” says De Beer. Cape Wools represents groups involved in producing, trading and processing wool. It “presents an unbelievable opportunity to increase South Africa’s export earnings.”

Prices surged at the first auction of the season on Aug. 16, with the Cape Wools Merino Indicator climbing 20 percent to 183.50 rand ($13.86) a kilogram, boosted by demand from buyers in China, India and the Czech Republic, the association said. It eased to 180.92 rand at Wednesday’s sale, but is still higher than any since at least the 2007 season and is above the average of every year since 1971.

Farming output contracted for eight consecutive quarters until the end of 2016 due to a 2015 drought that was the worst since records started more than a century earlier.

After peaking at 148 million kilograms in 1966, southern African wool production has declined to about a third of that annually as the popularity of cheaper synthetic fibers climbed and as Australia, which supplies more than three-quarters of the fiber used in clothing, sold off stockpiles.

Production in southern Africa rose 5.3 percent to 52.2 million kilograms in the 2017 season that ended in June, data on the Cape Wools website show. Of that, 45.9 million kilograms came from South Africa. The province with the biggest production is the Eastern Cape, responsible for about 30 percent of output.

Producing a further 25 million kilograms could add about 2 billion rand to South Africa’s gross domestic product, using an average price of 80 rand a kilogram, De Beer said.

The country has about 15 million merino sheep, with Cape Wools estimating there are as many as 9,000 commercial producers and 50,000 small-scale farmers. About 35 percent of production comes from the impoverished Eastern Cape province, De Beer said.

Source: Bloomberg

Share This Article

New Zealand
South Africa
Wool Promotion
Buy Alpaca from
Wool & Specialty Fibre
Tops & Yarn Dyeing
Wool & Top Treatment 
Buy Yarn From
Textile Machinery
Wool Magazines

Interested in reaching buyers in China? Advertise in wool2yarn China magazine and reach major importers of wool and speciality fibre, topmakers, spinners, weavers and textile companies in China, in their own language, breaking down the language barrier. This publication is circulated to 5000 major textile companies in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and is a buyer’s guide and information source for the year ahead. See More.

Reach buyers in 58 countries – advertise in wool2yarn global magazine. Published once each year (September) it is circulated to over 5000 textile companies. Readership includes importers of wool and speciality fibre, topmakers, spinners and weavers, manufacturers of yarn, knitwear, carpet, and blankets, producers and importers of fabrics, bedding products, garment manufacturers, and brands and retail chains. See more.

Wool Reports
Buy Wool, Wool Tops, Yarn Online
Wool Testing
Wool Grease
Wool Products Online
Second Hand Textile Machinery