Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Plummeting wool sales reaps bad luck for shearers
Plummeting wool sales reaps bad luck for shearers
Jul '10
While the recent showers have been accepted by most farmers, there are still those who are trying to complete shearing of their sheep. Basically, wool has to be shorn dry or it cannot be stored properly.

Dearth of young and fit men who would like to be trained as shearers has been troubling UK farmers, whose average age is about 60. About 500 labourers, including a fair proportion of Kiwis, visit UK every summer to help shear close to 15 million sheep.

Luckily, as most farmers feared, the number of sheep shearers visiting UK from non-EU nations will not be limited, under the new migration laws, owing to aggressive lobbying by the farming unions.

Shearers expect to get paid in the right manner and hence charge around £1 per ewe. A man shearing around 250 ewes per day can possibly earn a good amount. Decreasing prices of wool in the recent years have left many sheep producers bankrupt after having paid the contract-based shearers.

Infact last season's overall returns of around 40 pence per kilogram for Blackface wool is likely to bring tears in to most sheep producers' eyes.

The recent huge fall in the numbers of sheep, globally, has witnessed diving wool production and improving prices. While this year's UK shear might be close to 26 million kilograms, it is far less than the highest shear recorded in early 1990s at 49 million kilograms.

Dearth of wool at home and international, resulted in hopes that producers might procure huge balance payments next summer, after this year's shear had been sold. But, the wool market is extremely volatile and the ongoing international economic downfall and the tentative demand from China have seen prices starting to ease again.

After the sale of last season's wool on June 16, at a time when the prices were just slightly down, the first sale of this season's wool, as made on July 7, was welcomed with selective and ambiguous demand.

Approximately 58 percent of a small, 1 million kilogram remained unsold. This probably would have set the alarm bells on for auctioneers, who are likely to reduce the reserve prices in a bid to remove wool from the depots, as farmers commence delivering the bulk of this season's shear.

While nobody is anticipating the market to fall, industry experts aver that only a brave man can invest on this season's shear and earn a little more than just covering the cost of shearing.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

Must ReadView All

Textiles | On 25th Oct 2016

Arvind to dilute 10% stake in brand business arm

Arvind Limited, one of India’s largest integrated textile and apparel ...

Courtesy: Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Textiles | On 25th Oct 2016

World’s first cotton shipment using Skuchain’s Brackets

The world’s first trade transaction involving shipment of cotton...

Textiles | On 25th Oct 2016

Cotton yield to increase to 568.29 kg/ha in 2016-17: CAB

At its first meeting for the cotton season 2016-17, the Cotton...

Interviews View All

Abhimanyu Singh Rathore & Barbara Anna Kosiorek

‘Blending cultures is the true beauty of fashion, where one’s imagination...

Nitin Soni
Dolphin Jingwei Machines

Taxation policies need to be made simpler

Vasanth Kumar
Max Fashion India

‘Traditional high-street retailers are now willing to offer franchisees to ...

Paolo Ocleppo
Sandvik Hyperion

Paolo Ocleppo, Rotary Cutting Segment manager, Sandvik Hyperion discusses...

Kerem Durdag
Biovation II LLC

Kerem Durdag, CEO, Biovation II LLC, provides an insight into future...

Marten Alkhagen
Swerea IVF AB

Marten Alkhagen, Senior Scientist - Nonwoven and Technical Textiles of...

Ritu Kumar
Label Ritu Kumar

‘Classics will return’ "There are a lot of people wearing western clothes ...

Tony Ward
Tony Ward

"You have to truly understand what your client wants, know her needs, what ...

Wendell Rodricks
Wendell Rodricks

"We should not compare India and the West. There are things we do that...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies

October 2016

October 2016

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.


Browse Our Archives


Advanced Search