Friday, August 10, 2007

World Wool Outlook

While the recent World Sheep & Wool Congress focused mostly on meat sheep production, one of the more interesting speakers was Australian Ben Watts, who spoke about global wool market dynamics.

Watts described a growing demand for apparel wool under 21.5 microns. The finest wools (less than 18.5 micron) are required to produce next to skin apparel. Europe (e.g. Italy) is still the primary consumer of these types of wool, whereas China is the largest consumer of raw wool in the world.
Global per capita fiber consumption Watts also described government programs in Japan, designed to conserve energy, that have increased wool consumption. The global consumption of wool is expected to increase, but per capita consumption is expected to fall in the long term.