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UK wool industry - statistics & facts

The United Kingdom has an intricately woven history with sheep. In 2019 alone, there were more than 22 million sheep in the UK. The production of wool in the United Kingdom (UK) peaked in 2019, with a yield of 70.5 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. Combed wool and fine hair reached an all time high in 2019, where it was valued at over 80 million British pounds. In addition to this, the sales volume of combed wool has increased correspondingly. The export value of wool from the UK has decreased in recent years. Despite this decrease, the export value of wool yarns in the UK has managed to remain stable. In 2019, the import value of wool or fine animal hair in the UK generated 9,253 thousand 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 2019, the Super Black Welsh Mountain breed of sheep generated the highest pence per kilogram of wool compared to other breeds, topping at 39 pence per kilogram. Wool from the Teewater/Wensleydale sheep breed was the highest valued lustre wool in the UK in 2019.

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Wool industry in the United Kingdom (UK)

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Wool trade

Wool clippings

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