West Australian (WA) sheep farmers say they are suffering as the European debt crisis continues to push down the price of wool.
Australian fine wool is typically sold to European countries for use in high-end fashion but farmers say the volatile financial market means fine wool now costs almost the same as its normal counterpart. Last year, high quality wool was being sold for $6 more than the price of regular wool but now there is just an 80 cent gap.
WA wool agent, Andrew Johnston, says the global uncertainty has caused international retailers and buyers to be very cautious when purchasing wool products.
"As we all know, Europe is having all sorts of problem. Retail sales are down and wool is suffering because of that, particularly fine wool, because Northern Europe is where the major consumption of fine wool takes place," he said. "What we've seen is that high wool prices have contracted from the level we saw last year and they've gone down to where the relativity between the fine wools and the broad wools is the closest we've seen since 2003."
Reprinted in part from Yahoo7news