7 September 2000
Strong Pound threatens wool revival

By FWi staff

SHEEP Farmers in parts of the country have the opportunity to vote for representatives on the body which sells their wool.

Ballot papers for the British Wool Marketing Board are being set to farmers so they can elect a new board.

This comes at a difficult time for the industry with profits per animal down to as little as 15p per animal, even for larger lowland sheep.

Board vice-chairman Frank Langrish told the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme Australian stockpiling and the collapse of the Chinese market had brought this about some years ago.

This had a knock-on effect all round the world and wool prices plummeted.

The Board says the outlook for wool will improve.

World production is falling, carpets are becoming more fashionable again, and there is potential in home insulation.

However, it fears the strength of the Pound against the New Zealand dollar —the Pound is worth a third stronger a year ago — will limit recovery.

There is a market for all wool, the biggest difficulty is increasing the price and value, said Mr Langrish.

Board chairman Alun Evans is standing down after 15 years in the post.