Which Country Exports the Most Wool in the World?

Textile Fibres May 28, 2018
Author: Sergey Avramenko
Head of Global Markets Research Team

In 2016, the global exports of wool stood at 813K tonnes, waning by -5.2% against the previous year level. In general, wool exports continue to indicate a mild slump. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2013, when export increased by 9% y-o-y. Global wool export peaked of 905K tonnes in 2007; however, from 2008 to 2016, it stood at a somewhat lower level.

In value terms, wool exports totaled $3.9B in 2016. In general, wool exports continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. In that year, global wool exports attained its maximum level of $4.8B. From 2012 to 2016, growth of global wool exports stood at a somewhat lower level.

Top Wool Exporting Countries in the World

1. Australia (2,254.3 million USD)

2. New Zealand (465.4 million USD)

3. South Africa (271.9 million USD)

4. Germany (110.2 million USD)

5. Argentina (101.2 million USD)

6. United Kingdom (95.0 million USD)

7. Uruguay (81.2 million USD)

8. Spain (39.3 million USD)

9. Syrian Arab Republic (18.9 million USD)

10. Mongolia (16.4 million USD)

11. Romania (7.9 million USD)

Wool Exports By Country

Australia (332K tonnes) was the largest exporter of wool in the world, accounting for 332K tonnes, which was approx. 41% of total exports in 2016. New Zealand (105K tonnes) occupied the second position in the ranking, followed by South Africa (49K tonnes). All these countries together held approx. 19% share of total exports. The UK (33K tonnes), Germany (23K tonnes), Argentina (21K tonnes), Syrian Arab Republic (19K tonnes), Spain (15K tonnes), Mongolia (14K tonnes), Uruguay (14K tonnes), and Romania (13K tonnes) occupied the slight share of total exports.

From 2007 to 2016, average annual rates of growth with regard to wool exports from Australia stood at -1.1%. At the same time, the UK (+6.5%), Mongolia (+5.0%), Syrian Arab Republic (+4.0%), South Africa (+3.8%), and Spain (+1.7%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, the UK emerged as the fastest growing importer/exporter in the world, with a CAGR of +6.5% from 2007-2016. By contrast, Argentina (-1.7%), Romania (-2.0%), New Zealand (-4.1%), Uruguay (-5.3%), and Germany (-6.8%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. While the share of New Zealand (6%), Australia (4%), and Germany (3%) increased significantly, the share of South Africa (-1.7%), and the UK (-1.8%) displayed negative dynamics. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, Australia ($2.3B) remains the largest wool supplier in the world, making up 58% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by New Zealand ($465M), with the share of 12% of global exports. It was followed by South Africa, with the share of 7%.

From 2007 to 2016, the average annual rate of growth in terms of value of wool exports in Australia expanded at +0.1%. The remaining exporting countries recorded the following average annual rates: New Zealand (-0.1% per year) and South Africa (+6.0% per year).

Wool Export Prices By Country

The average wool export price stood at $4,754 per tonne in 2016, ascending by 5% against the previous year. Overall, it indicated a mild expansion from 2007 to 2016: the export price value increased at an average annual rate of +1.9% over the last nine years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2011, when export price increased by 48% year-to-year. In that year, average wool export price reached its maximum level of $5,884 per tonne. From 2012 to 2016, growth of average wool export price failed to regain its strength.

Export prices varied noticeably by country of destination. the country with the highest export prices was Australia ($6,784 per tonne), while Romania ($638 per tonne) was among the lowest.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of wool export prices was attained by Uruguay (+8.9% per year), while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Do you want to know more about global wool market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • wool market share
  • wool prices
  • wool industry
  • wool sales
  • wool import
  • wool export
  • wool market forecast
  • wool price forecast
  • key wool producers

All data provided in this article covers the following product: HS Code 5101 - Wool, not carded or combed.

Source: World: Wool - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025