December 14, 2007
December 14, 2007 - The American Sheep Industry Association's (ASI) international wool programs continue to help increase wool exports. The United States exported 70 percent of the total wool clip in the 2006-2007 production year (Oct. 1, 2006 through Sept. 30, 2007), reported the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service in its recently released export statistics.
In fiscal year 2006-2007, U.S. wool exports totaled 28 million pounds greasy weight, an 18 percent increase over the previous year. Greasy wool exports increased by 8 percent to 22 million pounds, representing 78 percent of total U.S. wool exports. Semi-processed wool exports increased by 51 percent to 6 million pounds greasy equivalent weight-an encouraging result for U.S. early stage processors and against the trend of recent years.
China is the largest importer of U.S. wool followed by Western Europe and India. The growth in wool exports to China has dramatically increased from 44 percent of total exports in the 2005-2006 production year to 67 percent last year.
"There has been a tremendous increase in concentration of U.S. wool exports to China," commented Barry Savage, ASI international wool consultant. "This follows the international trend exhibited by other wool-exporting countries, especially Australia."
Other countries that import U.S. wool include Mexico, Canada, Eastern Europe and South America.
"Since 2001, the United States has consistently exported between two-thirds to three-fourths of its annual clip," stated Savage. "This is in contrast to the late 1990s when more of the production was used domestically and an average of 35 percent of the U.S. wool clip was exported." Staff contact: Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ext. 29