Futures Market News
South Africa wool industry to be harmed by foot-and-mouth virus outbreak
Mar 02, 2011 02:32 PM
An outbreak of foot and mouth disease in South Africa is expected to harm the nation's wool industry, Bloomberg reports.
The wool industry postponed a weekly auction scheduled for Wednesday evening in Port Elizabeth. Additional sales also were thrown into question due to the ban placed exports of cattle, sheep, pigs and their byproducts.
"The country's two biggest exporters say it's no use having the sale because we can't export anything," Ona Viljoen, a spokeswoman for industry body Cape Wools, told Bloomberg on Tuesday. "This will have grave consequences for the local wool industry."
Wool prices for Wednesday settled up 0.68 percent, an $0.08 climb to $11.93 per kilogram.
The wool industry represents about 18,000 farmers and their 14 million sheep. They generate approximately 50 million kilograms of wool per year.
Exports have been discontinued for at least 90 days as a result of about 300 animals testing positive for the virus, according to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The nation trails only Australia as the globe's second-largest producer of wool. Its top export locations include Italy, France, Japan and China.
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