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UK wool industry - statistics & facts

The United Kingdom has an intricately woven history with sheep. The wool from British sheep has been spun and utilized for clothing since the Bronze age and has been an export product for Britain for over one thousand years. Today, there are more than 60 breeds of sheep in Britain and wool has become an important resource for the UK. In 2021 alone, there were almost 23 million sheep in the UK. The production of wool in the United Kingdom peaked in 2020, with a yield of 70.97 thousand tons of wool.

UK wool market

Wool is clearly a profitable business in the UK, as the manufacturers’ sales value of combed wool in the UK has steadily increased within the last ten years, until falling in 2020. Combed wool and fine hair reached an all time high in 2019, where it was valued at over 84 million British pounds. In addition to this, the sales volume of combed wool has increased and decreased correspondingly.

The export value of wool from the UK has decreased in recent years. Despite this decrease, the export value of wool yarns from the UK had managed to remain stable until 2020. In 2020, the import value of wool or fine animal hair to the UK generated about 3.6 million British pounds.

Clipped wool prices

Wool clip, which is defined as the total amount of wool that was yielded in one season, is the market reference of production. Mountain wool, which is the wool which is produced from sheep who are native to harsh environments, is bulky and resilient, and is often sought after for carpet construction. In 2021, the Super Black Welsh Mountain breed of sheep generated the highest pence per kilogram of wool compared to other breeds, topping at 35 pence per kilogram. Wool from the Teewater/Wensleydale sheep breed was the highest valued lustre wool in the UK in 2021.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 23 most important statistics relating to "Wool industry in the UK".

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