Wool values increasing

2 June 2000

Wool values increasing

WOOL values have started to climb from last years low base, says the British Wool Marketing Board.

Consequently, it has announced an 11p/kg rise in the average wool price for this season to 50p/kg.

The total consists of a balancing payment from last season, and an advance for 2000. "Prospects are looking better," says board chairman Alun Evans. "We have set the advance on the latest intelligence we have."

The market remains depressed by the strength of sterling and the weakening NZ$, making New Zealand wool more competitive. Nevertheless, the board reached two targets, selling two-thirds of the clip by December, and 13% of new season wool in advance.

There is still wide variation for different wool types, says Mr Evans. Coloured hill and mountain wools, particularly Swaledale and some Welsh types, have proved hard to sell. The former is worth just over 21p/kg on average.

The board is developing alternative uses for such products, and manufacture of insulation material is expected to begin later this year. "We should be looking at about 40p/kg as a minimum price," he says.

Good quality, finer wools, like Halfbred and Cheviot, are worth an average of 57p/kg. &#42

The market may be slow, but sheep still need shearing. Trainee Chris Ruby got to grips with the task at a recent training day at Higher Tregolls Farm, St Wenn, Cornwall.

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