Covid blamed for merino demand drop

The demand for New Zealand merino wool has taken a significant drop, with those in the industry saying it is simply a result of Covid-19.

PGG Wrightson South Canterbury wool representative Ange Armstrong said merino trade was heavily affected by the lack of processing in other countries, but would recover eventually.

"Merino wool is a high-end product and it is, of course, the first thing that drops off in a pandemic, where people are not wanting to spend money," she said.

Ms Armstrong believed all merino microns across the board were down between $2 and $6 when compared with last year, with the percentage depending on who you asked.

"Some suppliers say they are down 70%, some wool reps say 40%.

"Our latest sale proved it was somewhere between there and without a doubt we look forward to seeing it go back up."

She said halfbred wool had also taken a hit, with a lot more available on the market than five years ago.

PGG Wrightson South Island wool sales manager Dave Burridge said its wool sale in early September attracted cautious bidding from the floor.

The market was yet to find stable ground after "very fluid movements" on both sides of the Tasman in recent sales, especially in the mid-micron sector of the market.

"A quality offering of merino wool attracted good interest and continues to show resilience to an existing fragile global marketplace for fine wool," Mr Burridge said.

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