The US' appetite for imports of wool floor coverings is likely to slow along with consumption growth in that country.
In 2006 imports of wool floor coverings, which command the bulk of the domestic market for wool floor coverings in the US, increased moderately in volume terms. In value terms, imports rose moderately year-on-year, according to data released by OTEXA (The Office of Textiles and Apparel).
2006 marked the second year of solid import growth for wool floor coverings into the US, but growth did slow appreciably in the final quarter, affected by the ongoing correction in housing.
Wool flooring imports are increasingly being sourced from developing countries, notably India and China, at the expense of Western European producers whose export competitiveness has been greatly affected by the weakness of the dollar against the euro.
Apart from those countries, the UK and Belgium are the largest Western European exporters of wool carpets and rugs to the US, although imports from both countries declined in 2006.
Australian Wool Innovation Limited