Wool News

Keep informed with Wool News which covers a range of topics including latest innovations, advice to wool growers and industry news.

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Jan 2019 Market Report
22 January 2019

Wool Market Report - January 2019

Export demand for wool has fallen away recently, as rising tension between China and the United States over trade tariffs has prompted Chinese manufacturers to take a cautious approach to their buying requirements. Through late winter and spring, fine, medium and strong wools all underwent reductions in demand, and therefore in price.

Although European and British markets for wool remain solid, the significant price lifts the sector needs depend on the volumes bought by China, which are not happening. 

Uncertainty around trade has also impacted the currency, therefore creating another setback for grower returns.

For crossbred wool, prices now mirror the low levels they fell to 12 months ago.

Aside from the trade situation around China, market conditions for fine wool growers are favourable. Demand for its use in active sportswear and outdoor clothing continues to grow, while drought in Australia reduced that country’s national fine wool clip, and therefore overall global market supply.

More positively, a live wool auction held in conjunction with the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Christchurch in mid-November, was well attended by buyers, growers and the public, who witnessed the transaction of more than $7 million worth of wool in four hours.

Wishing our suppliers, customers and other friends a profitable 2019. 

 Listen to Grant Edwards' January Wool Report on the Country with Jamie Mackay


Grant Edwards, Wool General Manager.

Wool News Auction Results
22 January 2019

Wool Auction Results - January 2019

We auction significant quantities of wool throughout the wool selling season at New Zealand's two key auction houses which are based in Napier and Christchurch.

Download the results for North and South Island sales below and catch up on market commentary with our respective wool managers.

Download the N30 Auction Results from the North Island sale on 24th Jan 2019 here

Download the C30 Auction Results from the South Island sale on 24th Jan 2019 here

Catch up on the most recent market commentary

Watch our latest market update after auction N30 at the Napier Auction House. Commentary is given by our North Island Wool Manager, Allan Jones.


Watch our latest market update after auction C30 at the Christchurch Auction House. Commentary is given by our South Island Wool Manager, Dave Burridge.


Ege - Wool Integrity - Wool News
21 January 2019

Danish Printed Carpet Manufacturer Joins Wool Integrity Programme

Leading European carpet manufacturer Ege has joined PGG Wrightson’s Wool Integrity programme.

Based in Denmark, Ege is a global market leader in the printed carpet sector.

Palle Petersen, general manager of PGG Wrightson Wool’s in-house export and marketing arm Bloch and Behrens Wool (NZ) Ltd, said the company is pleased to have Ege in the programme.

“Bloch and Behrens has supplied Ege for decades. Joining the Wool Integrity programme provides Ege’s clients with assurance around animal welfare and quality assurance.

“Producing the best quality printed wool carpets requires the whitest wool as raw material. New Zealand wool surpasses all others in its whiteness and capacity to take dye.

“Traditionally, Ege used some British wool to provide a higher bulk yarn. We have worked closely with Ege to develop a specific wool blend to meet their requirements, replacing the British component with New Zealand Perendale wool. Ege now uses 100 per cent New Zealand wool, blended here prior to scouring, providing a more consistent product,” he said.

Ege manufactures wool carpet tiles, wall to wall carpet and bespoke rugs for domestic and commercial use, including in high end hotel chains and luxury cruise liners. Ege’s printing technology provides unlimited design possibilities.

Ege was founded in 1938, is represented in more than 50 countries worldwide, and is headquartered in Herning, Denmark. Ege’s New Zealand distribution agent is Belgotex New Zealand, formerly known as Irvine Flooring. 

Responsible Wool Standard
9 January 2019

Responsible Wool Standard provides global benchmark for wool

PGG Wrightson Wool has achieved certification as a Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) organisation, and has recently exported the first fully certified shipment of scoured New Zealand strong wool to the International market place previously having only exported RWS compliant greasy wool. 

Using RWS as the entry point, the company has opened opportunities for  New Zealand woolgrowers to supply major global manufacturers. RWS provides consumers and retailers with assurances that a product adheres to audited ethical criteria as well as a fully transparent supply chain.

RWS is an international independent, voluntary standard for wool production, which aims to ensure that the five basic freedoms of sheep are always met:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst
  • Freedom from discomfort
  • Freedom from pain, injury or disease
  • Freedom to express normal behaviour
  • Freedom from fear and distress.

 RWS also ensures best practice in the management and protection of land. 

Any wool growers wanting to become RWS certified are able to join the programme in their own right through Asure Quality, the only New Zealand based certifying body. 
PGG Wrightson Wool has RWS accreditation in place to provide the supply chain and logistics functions and RWS export certification has been achieved by our International marketing arm Bloch & Behrens.

Further information: responsiblewool.org

Wool Fibres - Wool News
9 January 2019

Research results in new uses for coarse wool could revolutionise the sector

A detailed research programme into new uses for coarse crossbred wool is closing in on some innovative answers that should increase farm gate returns.

Wool growers’ historical levies contributed towards funding the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand (WRONZ), which is behind the programme. Now the research has successfully created a series of new materials from deconstructed coarse wool. Its next focus is working with companies to scale up and commercialise production of these where they can be used in new industries. Ultimately, that should improve financial sustainability for growers.

Ian Cuthbertson is manager of Wool Industry Research Limited (WIRL), which is overseeing the research for WRONZ. He says the objective is to take crossbred wool off the floor.

“We need to move on from coarse wool being used largely for rugs and carpets. We have now successfully deconstructed the fibre into a suite of ingredients, potentially able to be used in a multitude of applications, from filtration to 3D printing, from wound care to flame retardants, and from artificial leather to nutrition, and that is only scratching the surface. We are now working with partners who are already in the marketplace on how best to turn these ingredients into commercially valuable products.

“Where possible, we have patented the methods of manufacture developed to create the new materials.

“We want to be able to find uses for the ingredients that will sustain a lift in farm gate returns to at least $6 per kilogram of crossbred wool, which would turn profitability around for growers. Although it will take time, that looks possible, as does ensuring an integrated supply chain to maximise returns, while also empowering growers, shearers and others in the industry,” he said.

The research builds on the work of Mirshaahin Seyed Saleh, originally from Iran, now living in New Zealand, who developed a novel process to deconstruct the fibre.

Lincoln Agritech Ltd, working with AgResearch, Deakin University, and Otago University are the main research providers to the $21 million seven-year research programme, which WRONZ is funding in a 60-40 partnership with the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.

PGG Wrightson Wool is a member of WRONZ.

Organic Wool - Wool News
9 January 2019

Organic wool producers receiving premium returns

Most of New Zealand’s organic crossbred woolgrowers have been brought together by PGG Wrightson Wool to supply their product to international markets. Prior to the company and its export arm, Bloch & Behrens, creating this initiative, organic wool achieved no commercial advantage for growers.

In 2014 Bloch & Behrens became the first and only New Zealand exporter certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard, also ensuring the wool scour achieved the same certification.

Since the initiative started operating fully, around five years ago, the company has exported approximately 650,000 kilograms of certified organic wool. Growers have collectively received an estimated $1 million in premiums, which equates to around a $1.50 per kilogram premium on top of the standard crossbred price paid for organic wool consigned to PGG Wrightson Wool.

During that period, the United States has been the largest market for organic wool, primarily via partner Jeffco Fibres, which specialises in bedding products.

Growers recognise the value of sticking together, and the extra critical mass has enabled another regular customer, a European bedding company, to take significant volumes of organic wool.

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