Uruguay's 2014/15 wool clip has been estimated at 30 million kilos, a volume similar to that of 2013/14, according to numbers discussed in a recent meeting of sheep farmers, government and regional officials to address prospects for the industry.
The wool clip for 2014/15 can be estimated at 30 million kilos, similar to a year ago in volume said Joaquin Martinicorena, president of Uruguay's Wool Secretariat, SUL.
Sheep farming in Uruguay has been falling steadily as meat cattle and dairy plus agriculture have been advancing following the boom in beef, grains and oil seed international prices, while wool has been relatively stable.
That is how Uruguay which at one time had as many as 24 million head of sheep was down to 7.8 million in 2011, according to the Ministry's census. Flock numbers have been erratic but falling from 9.76million in 2004; 10.8million in 2005; 11.08million in 2006; 10.323million in 2007; 9.558million in 2008; 8.662million in 2009 and 7.7 million in 2010.
Likewise the wool clip has been falling from 41 million kilos in 2002/03 to the current 30 million kilos. However in 03/04 the clip was 36.7million kilos; 37.8 million in 04/05; 42.6 million in 05/06; 47.2 million in 06/07; 42.9 million in 07/08; 38.3 million in 08/09; 37.8 million in 09/10 and 30 million kilos in 10/11 and 32.5 million in 11/12.
Another issue brought up at the wool farmers meeting was that of rustling, which is quite extended to the whole Uruguayan territory and is particularly punishing for sheep farmers since their soil is poorer and limited for other activities, indicated Martinicorena.