Japanese market undeterred despite high price of Australian wool

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2017-05-19 17:15:00 – Osaka

Australian wool prices have doubled in Japan over the past year but it has not deterred the Japanese market from buying. As the quality they require is always of the highest standard, a Japanese wool broker said.

Mike Kuritani from Itochu, one of Japan's largest trading companies, said that demand will remain due to an appetite for high quality fine micron wool from Australia despite the high prices.

He said that in fact a new market is coming up from sports apparel, for socks and innerwear. Hence the overall the demand on wool will not decrease for the next couple of years.

Mr Kuritani said that a combination of high wool prices and a weak Japanese Yen are behind the overall rise.

Itochu is sourcing high quality lambs wool from Hamilton in western Victoria and is using the region's reputation as a marketing tool. There are many factors that makes Hamilton's wool unique.

The environment in this region is different from any other region in Australia, Mr Kuritani said. The humidity and moisture is very adequate, grass is plentiful and the nutrition makes the wool quality better than any other country.

According to Paul Ferrenato, the wool trading manager for Victoria Wool Processors, the number one priority for Japanese wool buyers was quality. Price will be a slight deterrent but if they need product then they're going to have to pay the price.

The price is not deterring the Japanese market but it is making it a little bit more difficult to digest the current levels as their biggest concern is need wool to keep machinery operating and to keep orders moving. The industry was focused on keeping up with demand.

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