Uruguay and Argentina's raw and semi-processed wool exports increased solidly in the 2006/07 season to April compared to the same period in the 2005/06 season.
The strong increase in raw wool export volumes from Uruguay and Argentina can be explained by strong world demand, modest increases in Uruguayan and Argentinean shorn wool production and a gap in world wool supply due to Australia's drop in production, especially in the 20-22 micron range.
Uruguay and Argentina's wool is concentrated in the mid-micron range (20-30 microns) and Argentina, in particular, has a large percentage of its clip in the 20-22 micron range.
Uruguay's top five export destinations by volume for the 2006/07 season to April were China, Italy, Germany, Turkey and India. Compared to the same period in the 2005/06 season, China increased its import volumes and its market share rose.
Italy, on the other hand, imported less wool from Uruguay and its market share fell. Argentina's top five export destinations by volume were Germany, Italy, China, Mexico and Turkey.
Uruguay and Argentina's export values for the 2006/07 season to April are also likely to have increased as volumes have risen and their average auction prices for the 2006/07 season to April have risen year-on-year.
Even with the increased exports, both Uruguay and Argentina remain much smaller suppliers to the world market than Australia, representing around 14% and 11% of Australia's exports respectively in the July 2006 to April 2007 period.
Australian Wool Innovation Limited