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British Wool hails market recovery with robust demand and improved prices

British Wool says demand is growing for wool.
British Wool says demand is growing for wool.

The wool market is recovering from the Covid-19 crisis with robust demand and improving prices for farmers, claims British Wool.

The wool marketing co-operative, which is owned by 35,000 sheep farmers across the UK, said the 2020 selling season ended strongly with prices recovering from February onwards.

It said the average auction price at the end of the 2020 season finished at 69p per kg – up from 50-55p per kg for most of the past 12 months.

British Wool said it had managed to sell 97% of the 2020 wool clip, and any remaining wool will be carried forward into the new selling season which starts next month.

“Over the last 12 months we have sold 31 million kg of British wool – the largest annual volume for 10 years,” said British Wool chief executive officer, Andrew Hogley.

“We are optimistic the price recovery we have seen in recent months will continue during the course of the next year.

“With a healthier stock position, reduced cost base and recovering auction prices, this puts British Wool in a much stronger position to deliver better value for our producers in 2021.”

Market challenges

In May last year British Wool warned the Covid-19 pandemic would severely impact wool prices for 12-18 months due to reduced demand, and at the start of this year it closed four grading depots as part of measures to maximise returns to producers.

Mr Hogley urged sheep producers to back British Wool and said the organisation will be launching a number of initiatives to further drive demand for wool next month.

“I’d encourage all producers to support British Wool and for those who have 2020 wool still on the farm, to deliver this into us this season,” added Mr Hogley.

“Every kg of wool that British Wool handles makes an important contribution to supporting your organisation ensuring we can continue to provide a high standard of service to all producers, drive demand for British wool with our customers and downstream manufacturers, and continue to represent your best interests as wool producers.”

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