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21 December 2020

Wool Report 2020 a rough year for the industry

This week The Country's Jamie Mackay is joined by PGG Wrightson's Grant Edwards to look at the wool market this month and wrap up the wool report for 2020.

Mackay said it has been a disastrous year for wool growers. Edwards agreed and added that they've had a tough finish for the year.

The formation of the Strong Wool Action Group had been able to aid the industry, with every dollar invested into the group, leveraging NZ$4 out of The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Edwards said.

Mackay asked why wool had been more adversely affected by Covid-19 compared to other primary sectors.

Edwards said a lot of New Zealand wool products ended up in retail stores overseas, and this had been greatly impacted with limited import and export opportunities.

However, there was a bright cloud on the horizon in 2021 as access to the Covid-19 vaccine was expected, Mackay said.

Mackay asked if we got on top of Covid-19 in the next 6-12 months, would there be growth in the wool industry. Edwards acknowledged that the current climate was not sustainable, particularly for stand-alone wool or crossbreed wool.

Edwards remained confident that when the world woke up to how great a product wool was, then there will be a massive turn around in the market.

Mackay wished the market well for 2021.

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Locals will have noticed that the Masterton Saleyards have not operated since the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. The lockdown resulted in the cancellation of the weaner fairs and subsequently with no saleyards operating under Alert Levels 4 and 3, the co-owners, PGG Wrightson Limited* (PGW) and Carrfields Livestock Limited (Carrfields), felt it was time to assess the future of this long standing Wairarapa livestock selling centre.

Having considered all the options PGW and Carrfields are pleased to announce that jointly they have agreed to, and the respective Boards have approved, a capital investment to right size and upgrade the Masterton Saleyards.

Peter Newbold, General Manager Livestock for PGW, and Donald Baines, General Manager Livestock for Carrfields, said “this recognises the importance of the selling centre to the farmers in Wairarapa, and we pleased to announce this upgrade.”

The upgrade will include installing a new effluent and storm water system that will meet consent requirements, plus an upgrade of the selling centre rostrum and associated walkways. Given lower overall stock numbers being sold through the saleyards, areas no longer required will be demolished, but there will still be more than enough capacity to meet demands in the foreseeable future.

Work commenced at the saleyards in early December and all things going to plan sheep sales should commence early in the new year.


All media enquiries to:

Peter Newbold, General Manager Livestock, PGG Wrightson Ltd
027 484 5964

Donald Baines, General Manager Livestock, Carrfields
027 328 8781

*All references to PGG Wrightson Limited or the Group refer to the Company, its subsidiaries and interests in associates and jointly controlled entities

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