20 December 1996

UK wool clip down 4%

THE UK wool clip for 1996 will be down by 2m kg or 4%, according to British Wool Marketing Board managing director Ian Hartley.

"The reduction is nearly all due to the weather which gave much drier fleeces this year. But there will be no loss of product to manufacturers because the end weight is the same whatever the moisture level of the clip," he said.

"But it will mean a reduction in producer wool cheques. Hill farmers will suffer less because their wool weights were down by only 2.5%. In south-west England it was 10%," said Mr Hartley.

However, he was bullish about UK wool prices in the next few months and for the next two years. "We are bucking the system because of the quality of our wool and the forward selling scheme we introduced. It is proving very popular with buyers who do not want to hold stocks."