Which Country Imports the Most Wool in the World?

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

Which Country Imports the Most Wool in the World?

IndexBox has just published a new report "World: Wool - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025". Here is a summary of the report's key findings.

In 2016, the amount of wool imported worldwide amounted to 772K tonnes, going down by -5.0% against the previous year figure. In general, wool imports continue to indicate a slight reduction. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2010, an increase of 13% y-o-y. Global wool import peaked of 868K tonnes in 2007- however, from 2008 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

In value terms, wool imports stood at $3.8B in 2016. Overall, it indicated a modest growth from 2007 to 2016: the total imports value decreased at an average annual rate of -1.3% over the last nine years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. Based on the result of 2016, wool imports decreased by -20.8% against its level of 2011. In that year, global wool imports reached its maximum level of $4.8B. From 2012 to 2016, growth of global wool imports stood at a somewhat lower level.

Top Wool Importing Countries in the World

1. China (2,339.6 million USD)

2. India (288.7 million USD)

3. Italy (220.0 million USD)

4. Czech Republic (193.7 million USD)

5. Germany (107.2 million USD)

6. United Kingdom (53.1 million USD)

7. Uruguay (50.6 million USD)

8. Belgium (35.7 million USD)

9. South Africa (26.6 million USD)

10. Turkey (16.1 million USD)

Wool Imports By Country

In 2016, China (317K tonnes) represented the major importer for wool, committing 41% of total imports. India (89K tonnes) took the second position in the ranking, followed by South Africa (59K tonnes), the UK (39K tonnes), and Czech Republic (36K tonnes). All these countries together occupied approx. 29% share of total imports. Italy (31K tonnes), Germany (20K tonnes), Belgium (16K tonnes), Uruguay (15K tonnes), and Turkey (15K tonnes) followed a long way behind this figure.

China experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. At the same time, the UK (+12.8%), Uruguay (+5.2%), South Africa (+3.1%), and Czech Republic (+2.5%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, the UK emerged as the fastest growing importer/exporter in the world, with a CAGR of +12.8% from 2007-2016. India experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. By contrast, Belgium (-5.1%), Turkey (-8.6%), Italy (-8.8%), and Germany (-10.8%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. From 2007 to 2016, the share of Italy, Germany, and Turkey increased by 5%, 5%, and 2% percentage points, while South Africa (-1.8%), and the UK (-3.3%) saw their share reduced. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, China ($2.3B) constitutes the largest market for imported wool worldwide, making up 61% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by India ($289M), with the share of 8% of global imports. It was followed by Italy, with the share of 6%.

From 2007 to 2016, the average annual rate of growth in terms of value of wool imports in China expanded at +3.0%. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: India (+0.8% per year) and Italy (-6.0% per year).

Wool Import Prices By Country

In 2016, the average import price for wool amounted to $4,966 per tonne, coming up by 3% against the previous year. Overall, it indicated a temperate increase from 2007 to 2016: the import price value increased at an average annual rate of +2.4% over the last nine years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. Based on the result of 2016, wool import price decreased by -18.3% against its level of 2011. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2011, when import increased by 45% against the previous year level. In that year, average wool import price attained its maximum level of $6,077 per tonne. From 2012 to 2016, growth of average wool import price stood at a somewhat lower level.

Import prices varied noticeably by country of destination. the country with the highest import prices was China ($7,393 per tonne), while South Africa ($455 per tonne) was among the lowest.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of wool import prices was attained by South Africa (+13.0% 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