Wool prices take a pounding

The Covid pandemic saw demand for wool plummet last year and many producers questioned the value of delivering their crop.

And the depth of the collapse in producer prices was revealed yesterday when British Wool released their fleece wool value tables which showed that the average price received by sheep farmers was likely to be around 15p a kg – although the board claimed this was better than their competitors.

However, in a letter to producers British Wool said it was cautiously optimistic about prices for the coming year following the clearing of the 11 million kg of UK wool which had been left in stock when the market effectively closed last year.

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Chief executive Andrew Higley and chairman Jim Robertson said that that while even with recent increases the price still remained “a long way below where we need it to be”, they were hopeful of further recovery during 2021.

The pair said that while the price of wool afer it was processed and sold at auction had fallen by over 50% last year to around 50p a kg, this had climbed to closer to 67p during 2021. Restructuring had also seen savings of around 7p a kg made to the cost of handling, collecting and delivering wool at depots.

“With 35,000 members we are able to both aggregate the clip into commercial weights and offer a true nationwide service handling the wool from all UK wool producers, no matter what type of wool, or how much wool they have,” producers were told.

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