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Wool on the Rise cancelled as demand grows
Feb '11
The British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) has introduced monthly auctions at the end of season, replacing the fortnightly offering due to the rising demand for wool.

At BW82 - 23th February sale the prices were strong with an average price of 157.05 pence per kg and with clearance at 99% on 1.66 million kgs of wool, reflecting a trend that has been evident throughout the season. The BWMB has moved to the monthly auctions to ensure that they can continue to provide wool to merchants in the remaining months leading up to the new season.

Wednesday's sale was described by as 'a very strong sale from the outset with most types seeing good price gains', however Ian Hartley, CEO of the BWMB explained: “We have seen continuous rising interest in wool this season. Our clearance levels at sale have been continuously high as well; this has depleted our supply of British Wool. As the BWMB sell wool to meet textile industry needs and demand, we have had to change from fortnightly to monthly auctions to ensure that there will be an offering available until early June, when the new season sales will commence.”

Frank Langrish, Chairman of the Board commented – “These conditions are exceptional and we have seen the best price levels in over twenty years. We predicted that the conditions for selling wool were changing for the better early last year and that this would significantly improve returns to our producers and we have been right. The auction system shows its true worth in a thriving market because the best price is always achieved in a competitive environment.”

A combination of reasons has contributed to the sudden change in wool's fortunes; sheep numbers across the world have reduced significantly – by 40% in the UK since 2000 - and so there is a much reduced level of wool available to the textile industry. Textile industry manufacturers that had destocked due to the economic conditions that set in 18 months ago are experiencing low supply levels in a market that has seen heavy promotion of wool due to the Campaign for Wool.

“We feel the time is right for wool and our auction is showing this to be correct.” Mr Hartley Said.

British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB)

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