Tuesday, 16 June 2020 08:55

Wool’s dire situation

Written by  Peter Burke
Waipukurau woolbroker Philippa Wright. Waipukurau woolbroker Philippa Wright.

The situation for wool may be dire, but Waipukurau woolbroker Philippa Wright is not walking away from it.

Wright hopes the situation will improve and says she’s not going to leave the industry just because of its present state. She says her staff are young, positive and enthusiastic and she owes it to them to stay and see it through.

Wright says one of the worst things she’s had to do over recent months is to ring up farmers and tell them what their wool is selling for.

“In some cases, greasy wool has been selling for a dollar a kilogram. Neither myself nor my father can remember wool fetching such a low price,” she told Rural News

Wright says the central Hawkes Bay, where her business is based, has been hit by the double whammy of Covid-19 and the drought. She says a lot of capital stock have been killed as a result of the drought – so the number of sheep to be shorn will be lower than normal.

“The other thing in Hawkes Bay is that it is a big second shear area through May, June and July and is one of the busiest times of the year,” Wright adds. “But a lot of people simply aren’t going to be able to second shear because of the lack of feed for their stock so we are going to miss out on that.” 

Wright says Covid meant that during lockdown it was not possible to sell wool, but during that time the industry – including shearers, classers, scourers and exporters – spent time communicating with each other and finding out what all the different groups were doing and how they could best work together.

She says while sales were restricted during lockdown, so too was processing wool and it’s taken time for the product to move. “India has only just opened up, Europe is still closed and while China is open it’s taking 90% of the wool from Australia and a large amount from South Africa and the UK,” Wright explains. 

“China is also taking some of our wool, but when they have finished producing the yarn, carpet, jerseys or coats it begs the question where do these products go,” she adds. 

“Sixty percent of the products that China produces from our wool goes to the USA and at the moment, that market is closed.” 

More like this

Carpet maker's blast from the past

Following its announcement earlier this year of quitting synthetics and only using 100% NZ wool, carpet manufacturer Cavalier Bremworth has now also changed its name.

Dispelling wool's myths

Paul Alston believes that when comparing wool and synthetic carpets, wool wins every time.

Keeping shearing sheds safe

With safety at the forefront of all farm activity, there is no better time than now to assess the safety in your shearing shed.

Featured

 

John Deere names new Aust/NZ head

John Deere Australia/New Zealand’s new managing director Luke Chandler says he will prioritise leading the way in technology and investing in strong relationships.

Trade deal delivers new 'rulebook'

A new trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), has been described as a new rule book for trade in the Asian region.

National

Wyeth ready for the 'Coast'

The chief executive-elect of Yili-owned Westland Milk Products Richard Wyeth is looking forward to the challenge of running the company.

Machinery & Products

Weeds in for a shock

WIith an increasing focus on reducing chemical herbicides, largely because of crop resistance and a potential build-up of residues, new…

V8 - a baler with a grunt

Following three years of testing with clients worldwide, Ireland-based manufacturer McHale has added a bigger model to its range of…

Virtual CV valuable tool

With a 12-year history of recruiting specialised operators from overseas to service the agricultural contracting industry, Hanzon Jobs typically brings…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Action, please!

The Hound notes that despite the new government having been elected for well over a month, there seems to a…

Educated?

Your canine crusader is intrigued to learn that the upper-class twats who attend Oxford University in the UK have voted…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter