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Finally, China has lifted its five-month ban on South African wool imports. In April, the ban was imposed due to the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in three provinces. 

“China’s ban on greasy wool imports from the Republic of South Africa has been lifted with immediate effect,” Cape Wool SA announced. We are equally relieved that it has been lifted without the imposition of any additional conditions,” it said.

It is interesting to note that this is not the first time such an event has occurred. The wool industry in South Africa was seriously impacted by China’s eight-month ban on wool in 2019. Wool has significant economic benefits for the South African economy, and the recent ban, like the previous one, had an adverse effect on it. 

Approximately 45 million kilograms of cotton are produced in South Africa each year, with a value of about R5 billion. Among the top destinations for this commodity are the Czech Republic, Italy, India, Egypt, Bulgaria, and China. Approximately 80 percent of this annual wool clip is exported to China as greasy wool. China’s ban cannot be mitigated by the market share of other countries.

More than 40,000 workers, sheep shearers, and wool handlers have been affected by the ban, including those who just survived a locust outbreak and an extended drought. 

Read more here

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