As the new wool season begins, South African wool producers are quite optimistic about China enhancing its imports.
Presently, China accounts for about 48 percent of South Africa’s (SA’s) total wool export value, Cape Wools SA, a not-for-profit service company set up and owned by South African wool farmers and other industry groups holding membership of the Wool Industry forum in South Africa, said.
The company said this year the position is that all wool from Rift Valley Fever (RVF)-free areas qualifies for export to China.
South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Chinese Government are also discussing on trimming down the waiting period for export of unprocessed wool from RVF-hit districts to three months, the company noted.
Presently, as stipulated by the Department, the three-month waiting period would start from the date when a district is officially declared as free from disease, while China has consented that the same can start from three months after the last reported outbreak.
During last season, over 280,000 bales were offered for auction sale, which realised a sale-value of about US$ 279 million.
However, given the current financial situation in the US and the Euro-zone countries, uncertainty prevails over the current season’s expectation.