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Wool exports surge in value, China stands as top consumer
Sep '08
According to statistics revealed by Uruguayan Wool Secretariat, wool export in 2007-08, totaled 60 million kilos, leading to a increase of a remarkable 8.2 percent in value, while sheep farming exports touched US $320 million, climbing by 8.4 percent.

Of the total $320 million sheep farming exports, wool represented 76.2 percent equivalent to $243 million, up 8.2 percent over the previous season. On the other hand, shipments of sheep skins increased by 24 percent to $3.1 million and that of live sheep dropped 49 percent to $9.2 in the same period.

However, it has been noted that exports of 60 million kilos of wool clip is about 7.4 percent less than the amount recorded last year. Of this 80 percent underwent some or the other form of industrialized process while only 19 percent was shipped greasy.

China remained the largest consumer of Uruguayan wool absorbing about 44 percent of the country's total exports and representing a 10.6 percent mount over the same period a year ago. China was followed by Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, India and Germany.

As for the current clip, a total of about 42 million kilos have been sheared and total exports in the wool year that just began, is expected to reach $350 million. The overall industry assets are estimated at $100 million, including the flock, land and industry hardware.

However, head count of flock in Uruguay, which stood above 26 million at one time, has dropped considerably to 9.7 million head, down from 10 million a year ago. Experts have blamed falling prices for wool and soaring prices for beef, grains and oilseeds as two of the major reasons behind this decline which also reduced the size of sheep farming.

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