The Country touched base with Palle Petersen, general manager for Bloch and Behrens Wool New Zealand Ltd.
Rowena Duncum from The Country touched base with Palle Petersen, general manager for Bloch and Behrens Wool New Zealand Ltd. - the export arm of PGG Wrightson Wool. Rowena was almost afraid to ask how the wool market was looking! Palle assured her that prices had lifted 20 to 30 cents across most sites nationwide for the first time in a while. This is all on the back of a weaker New Zealand dollar due to more activity out of China. In March, China took 37% of our wool export. There's also been more positive feedback from customers who supply the airline and cruise ship market. Things are tracking the right way - but from a very low base.
Rowena expressed some pride in New Zealand's primary industries' long history of innovation, which sets us apart from the rest of the world. A great way to lead into a discussion around organic wool. Palle said they had been certified organic wool exporters for over 15 years. There's a growing market for crossbred organic wool, mainly in the American bedding market. Consequently, they can't get enough and pay two to three dollars clean per kilo for certified organic wool. Palle says this is a real opportunity for farmers in a growing market, especially with the Global Organic Textile Standard - or GOTS - in place. This is a recognised brand 'round the world, which gives consumers certainty around chemical use and child labour.
Consumers are prepared to pay a premium for certified organic textiles and the organic route for wool farmers could be very exciting in the long term.
Wool report: Organic wool an opportunity for Kiwi farmers https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/sheep-and-beef/wool-report-organic-wool-an-opportunity-for-kiwi-farmers/B64CQJUKDE2OD3TXUDK64BK3KQ/