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

Port Elizabeth – A smaller volume of 5 966 bales were on offer on the 31st wool sale of the 2020/21 selling season.

The market delivered mixed results amongst the micron categories, but ultimately closed up 0.9% from the previous sale on R164.14 p/kg.

The offering consisted predominantly of fine micron merino wools, with 14% of the merino wools on offer being certified as sustainable

Although the longer length merino wools achieved good results, a lower overall sales clearance of 91,64% was achieved due to a higher volume of mixed and shorter length wools being passed in. The rand traded slightly weaker against the US$ by 0,56%, with the market gaining 0,29% in US$ terms. The Australian market shed some of its' gains and closed 1,71% (AU$) down from their last sale on Thursday, 29 April. The major buyers on today’s sale were: Modiano SA (1 462), Standard Wool SA (1 313), Lempriere SA (1 026) and Stucken & Co (708). 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 0,4% to close at R214,20/kg; 18,5 microns moved 1,6% up to close at R204,58/kg; 19 microns gained 1,0% to close at R191,43/kg; 19,5 microns strengthened by 1,4% to close at R175,98/kg; 20 microns was 1,4% stronger to close at R159,21/kg; 20,5 microns won 0,6% to close at R153,85/kg; 21,0 microns recovered 0,5% to close at R150,89/kg; 21,5 microns tumbled by -0,3% to close at R143,77kg; 22 microns rose 1,2% to close at R141,18/kg and 22,5 microns climbed by 2,0% to close at R132,52/kg. The next auction is scheduled for 19 May 2021 where approximately ± 13 028 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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