Sheep on the green grass


South Africa is a vast and beautiful country with a rich history of sheep and wool farming. This long history has established woolgrowers who have a keen appreciation of how to care for their animals and the environment. As a result, the industry consistently generates a high quality, environmentally sound product for international markets. The first Merino sheep arrived at the Cape in 1789, and the sheep and wool industry on a commercial basis was soon established.

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The Wool Market

Cape Wools Weekly Market Report Port Elizabeth – A larger volume of 13 299 bales were on offer on this week’s wool sale, with the market delivering a good performance and gaining 1% from the previous week to close on R169,11 p /kg. Of the total bales offered, an excellent sales clearance of 97,6% was achieved, with nearly 70% of the offering testing 20 micron and finer and certified sustainable wools making up 22.8% of the merino wools on offer. The good quality offering attracted strong competition from all the buying houses, especially for the fine micron, long merino and sustainable wools on offer, which performed better than the market average. The rand traded variably during the sale, but ultimately ended 3.05 % weaker against the US$, with the market retracting by 2.1 % in US$ terms. The Australian market traded slightly up this week by 0.2% (AU$) from the previous sale on 25 February.The major buyers on todays sale were: Modiano SA (3 298), Standard Wool SA (3 109), Lempriere SA (3 087) and Tianyu SA (1 740). The average clean prices for the selection within the different micron categories for good top-making (MF5), long fleeces were as follows: 18,0 microns increased 1,9% to close at R217,05/kg; 18,5 microns moved 1,7% up to close at R206,83/kg; 19 microns gained 1,6% to close at R195,88/kg; 19,5 microns strengthened by 0,8% to close at R184,33/kg; 20 microns was 0,7% stronger to close at R170,78/kg; 20,5 microns won 3,5% to close at R161,39/kg; 21,0 microns recovered 0,2% to close at R155,99/kg; 21,5 microns improved by 1,3% to close at R154,77kg; 22 microns rose 1,6% to close at R142,99/kg and 22,5 microns climbed by 0,8% to close at R144,65/kg. The next auction is scheduled for 10 March 2021 where approximately ±8 223 bales will be on sale.

Cape Wools Merino Indicator
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Wool is not a mandatory choice in today’s apparel markets. It competes with other fibers, natural, and synthetic.  However, the retail sector is rapidly evolving and issues such as sustainability, animal welfare, ethics and the environment are becoming increasingly important as factors influencing fiber choice when purchasing garments. Traceability and transparency along the value chain are also becoming increasingly important to underpin the story of wool at consumer level.

Traditionally, the marketing of wool at consumer level has mostly concentrated on promoting fiber attributes in the end-product form. As the other issues mentioned gain traction in the marketing and promotion effort, best practice and assurance protocols must be introduced, implemented, maintained and supported by appropriate documented proof or evidence to support the overall marketing and promotion of the wool industry and its products


Research and Development

To enable Cape Wools SA (CWSA) to fulfil its obligations in terms of the strategic functions allocated to it by the Wool Forum, CWSA receives funding from the Wool Trust which, amongst others, also identifies as one of its main objects, to generate income from its capital base to provide funding for “research in connection with the improvement, production, manufacture, processing, storage of marketing of South African wool”. 

All projects are managed on contract by the research and development service provider in terms of a generic Research and Development Protocol which specifies intermediate output requirements, milestones and deliverables per project. 

The current research and development portfolio reflects a mixture of short- and long-term projects and are focused on Sustainability, Biosecurity, Transformation and Marketing & Communication.  These strategic areas have been identified as key in delivering on the objectives of CWSA.

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