Confidence in the economic outlook in Europe and the rest of the world is driving increasing wool prices.

The increase in price seen by the market during the latter part of the 2012 selling season and into the start of this selling season was being sustained, according to the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB).

“Demand was so strong in the closing half of last season that we sold virtually every kilo of wool, which was hugely important as we headed into a new selling season,” said Malcolm Corbett at this week’s BWMB annual conference, held this year in Londonderry.

The new-season sales had kicked off in a similar strong vein, he said, with high clearance rates and prices more than one-third up on the same time last year. The volume of wool sold to date was also significantly higher than the same time last year.

“Demand for British wool has traditionally been largely driven by the carpet market and an upturn in the housing market is helping increase demand, but the strong demand from the market in China is also having an effect on the interest and the demand shown in our product,” he added.

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Wool prices up by a third on the year