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UNITED STATES DFFAFRT.EPT OF AGRICULTURE
Bureau of Agricultural Economics
WI I.-Tl September 9, 1938
oIV OF FLL
T H E WO C L S IT UAT I ON
The domestic wool situation has improved in recent months. Mill act-
ivity has increased, and prices of wocl are somewhat higher than in early
summer. Domestic prices may strengthen more before the end of 1938, but no
marked rise appears likely until the foreign wool situation is improved. Wool
manufacturing activity has increased in some European countries in recent
months, but Japanese buying remains greatly curtailed.
Total supplies of Southern Hemisphere wool for the current season may
be slightly larger than in 1937-38. On the basis of returns from three im-
portant c-m tries, the quantity available is likely to be about the samo as
the average for the five seasons 1932-33 to 1936-37. The larger supplies this
season, compared with last, are the result of a considerably larger carry-ever,
since combined production in the three countries is estimated to be slightly
smaller than last season.
The weekly rate of consumption of apparel wool by United States mills
in July was the high~-sZt reported since last August and was 11 percent more
than in July last year. But because of the small consumption in the early
months of 1938, total for the first 7 months of the year was more than 40 per-
cent smaller than a year earlier and 20 percent less than the average con-
sumption for those months in the 5 years, 1932-36.
Unfilled orders for wool piece goods increased in the second quarter
of this :,ver. With stocks of finished and semi-finished goods relatively small,
and with prospects for some improvement in the general business situation, it
';" L-21 2 -
is expected that mill consumption will increase further during the remainder
United States imports of a' _-rel wool for consumption from January to
July of this ,''-.r were 11.7 million pounds compared with 126 million pounds im-
ported in those months last 'yer and an average of about '9 million pounds for
the 5 years 19-2-36.
Supplies of raw wool in the United States on August 1 were much larger
than at the corresponding time in 1936 and 1937. But mill consur.Ftion during
the rren-inin- months of 1938 is likely to be larger than a year earlier and im-
ports probably will remain relatively small. By the end of the year, there-
fore, stocks may be no larger than a year earlier.
PECEiT DEVELPCT?'PI!TS IN DC[r:ESTIC SITUATION
F a:-irournd.- In the last half of 1937 and early months of
1=3 Ti ii consumption and prices of wool declined sharply
in the United States. The average farm price of wool in
June 1938 -as 45 percent below the high of 1937 and was lower
than at any time since the spring of 1935. Ilt decline in
prices and activity in the domestic market was accompanied
by declines in foreign markets. Supplies of raw wool ac-
cumulated in the United States and in Scuthern Hemisphere
selling centers but the large stocks of finished and semi-
finished goods which had accumulated in this country during
the period of hi h mill activity,' in 1936-37 were Tr -.tly
Domestic mill consumption of woel increased in M: .
and June and the increased consumption was accr--:.i.d in
July by larger sales and hi; _..r Irices in raw wool markets.
Conditions in fore ir, wool centers have remained lar.e-ly
unchanged in recent months.
Wool Sales and Prices
Foll-.i the relatively large wool 1,:.in; and rapid advance in prices
in the domestic wcol market in July, sales declined sharply in August and prices
on the Boston market were irregular and slightly lower.
Country packed lots of 3/8 and 1/4 blood bright fleece wcols were offered
in Boston at 28-29 cents a pound in the grease, at the end of A.g-:t compared
with 31-32 cents a month earlier. Prices of spot bright fleece wools of fine
combing quality remained unchanged from July at 29-31 cents a pound the last
week in August but quotaticns for similar 3/8 blood wools had declined to 30-31
cents a pound compared with 32-33 cents at the end of July.
Sales of territory wcols at Boston were small in August and prices de-
clined on most grades. Good French combing length fine territory wools in
original bags were available late in August at 62-65 cents a pound, scoured
basis, compared with 65--'' cents a pound a month earlier. Prices of graded ter-
ritory wools of combing lIirngh averaged 71 cents a pound scoured basis, for fine
and 59 cents for 3/8 blood the end of August compared with 65 cents and 54 cents
a pound, respectively, at the low point in June. Prices cf such wools in late
August were about 30 percent below those cf a year earlier,
The average farm price of wool on August 15 was 19.5 cents a pound con-
pared with 18.7 cents on July 15 and 31.4 cents on August 15, 1937.
Federal Government wool loans
The loan program for wool producers has provided ar important stabilizing
influence on domestic prices during recent months. According to a recent an-
nouncement a total of 80 million pounds of wool had been appraised for loans by
August 20, an- of this quantity loans had been completed on 32 million p-lunis
with the remainder in process. The loans have averaged about 17.4 cents per
grease pound at warehouses.
Wool stocks and imports
Total supplies of raw wool in the United States on 2.. -.-t 1 remained much
lar,-gr than at the ccrr:sponding time in 1936 and 1937. Imports of wccl were
much larger in 1937 than in other recent years and domestic wool production was
about average. Mill consumption of wool was very small in the last half of 1937
and in the first half of i''".. As a result of the large imports end reduced
mill consumption the carry-over of old wool into the 'l-5 marketing season was
much larger than the r.,rr -over a year earlier. With the car-'.'- -_r of wool from
last season considerably 1. r,.er and domestic production in 1938 not r,:r-ly dif-
ferent from that of 1937, the total supply of wcol in the rioteded "t tes is now
considerably larger than it was a year ago. Mill consumption of wool in the re-
maining months of 1938, hc wver, is likely to be somewhat larger than in the same
months of 1.f' while imports probably will remain relatively small. By the eni
of the year, stocks may be no larger than a year earlier.
United State' imports of apparel wool for consumption from January to July
1938 were 11.5 million pounds compared with 126 million pounds imported in those
months last year and an average of about C1 million pounds for the 5 years 1932-
36. Imports in July amounted to 2.9 million pounds. The July imports were the
largest for any month so far in 1938 but were only about half as large as imports
in July of last year.
The weekly rate of apparel wcol consumption by United States mills in July
was 4,549,'C. pounds. This was an increase of 18 percent over the June rate and
was 11 percent higher than in July last year. The July consumption was the largest
since August of last year.
- 3 -
Cons -.tion in the first 7 ".;ths :' 1i-~ was e T::valent to
pounds of shorn wool, -reaie basis and 37 million f?,:pr.s of filled
the same months .:' 1i7 c-r7 r-:tion waR ivalent to 290 million
shorn wool and. '- millionn rds of tr.Il.: wool.
r.i'ill- i -:s for certain woven cloths held by 1L* re rtr.- mills
increased so .-. t:;:t in the :?-:ni quarter of 193;. This was the first ":-reise
r.!:%rted in nr.illeed orders since the first 'T..-:-ter of last Mil.r. Mill sales
aunear to have ecliLed .eas-.nrall, in August. The following tale shows un-
filled orders r:iorted by mills at the end of each quarter, 13C to date.
Unfilled orders for woven cloth, reported by 17:' mills
at the end of each quarter, 1936 to d.te 1/
End of Men's Women's : Auto
wear : ar ar : cloths 2 :
li: 'd 1f' n'ea i, d
: linear .d. li..--ar *d. linear yd. 1
ir r _:'d.
1 ,? 5?
7...-iled froi o o T.thly Statistics of 7,-.-1 L' : ;-.: ,ur. ,- .' i .:-' t :;.t i:.r.l
Association. .. Wool Manufacturers. These 138 mills L.-u.ined -,ith ., '.:' looms.
Cloth less than 50 inches wi`e reported in ui'.-! r.t 54-inh : .-r'.'.-e.
I/ Reports are for specified dates near th r n- of each -~'7rter, usually after the
25th of the n:lth.
2/ Ex:-? 3 cloth with nile or j .c-.-r, :i:r..
i 1 :rices fn the United States : .:-r.; the remainder -.: 1-? wil'. be
inflr...:-:d chiefly 1"- .'.:.-.tic mill consurtion of wool, and by ch -. in wool
prices in the foreign markets. -- 'rtic aill consm'antion was very r.-.1! in
the lIst half of 1937 :..i earl:.' months of 1- :n'.4 stocks of finj-*-.. and semi-
finished wool ;.:,is wer sharply reducid.d. Mill activity has incr. r-..- since M
and in -:iew of the --'. stocks of wool -.oir, ad rr. --c .. for some i-r:ve-
ment in the business situation :. :rally, it is executed that domestic '.ill
consumrtion will increase :'-.:r-.er during the r.--.air.-:r of this year.
The recent sharp increase in wool prices and mill activity in the United
States, however, has not been accom-anied by a corr-_: ending inorovaeent in
foreign countries. While there has been a slight increase in activity in
some Eur:i' *-- countries the curtailment of Jamanese :-ool '.-.uing is a serious
handicap to :. e.ral imrnrovement in the world wool situation.
The r cent advance in domestic prices has widened the s read bet'-een
foreign a.rd domestic wool prices, but the spread is still somewhat less than
the tariff. If foreign prices remain fairly stable, a further moderate advance
in wool prices in the United States could occur without cr-..ir.r m-uch increase
in imports. No marked rise in domestic prices is li:-el.,, however, until there
is an improvement in foreign wool prices.
FOC'REI G Si T'AiTON
Wool Sales and Prices
The 193g-39 selling 'eason opened at Sydney Australia on August 29.
The selection at the or*e.i un sale contained considerable wool of o- quality
from the -revious season. Prices for the b-zt quality wools were fully equal
to the closing prices of the previous season in June but prices of -lost other
wools were slightly lawer than in June. Ger-L..:", France and E--ld.1 purc..--.-:d
freely at the early sales. Japanese I" 'ers took very little wool however, and
prices were irregular in the first week th= sales.
There was a sharp increase in demand fror-.UTited States I -yers for
coarse wools in Ar--..tina in July. Prices for second clip wools advanced
as much as li-? percent accorii: .c to the Buenos Aires orf..c. of the First
National Bank of Boston. Finer grades have not been in demand and prices of
such wools remained more or less ur.c'-r.. d.
No wool auctions were held in London in August; the next series will
open on Septem. er 20.
Southern Her.is.her2 W S',l Sunr-'es for thf 1-7S-_, g':nscoon
Preliminary estimates indicate that supplies 1/ in three important
countries, Australia, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa, will amount
to approximately 1,675 million pounds, an increase of 3 --: rer.t above the
quantity available last season but approximately the same as the average for
the 5 seasons 1932-33 to 19 6-37. Tih.cs three countries furnish about 75 per-
cent of Southern Heri.- bh-re wool suprli::. The larger prospective supplies this
season as compared with last are the result of a considerably larger carry-over,
as production in the three countries combined is estimated to be about 2 percent
smaller than last season.
l/ Carry-over at sell in_ centers plus estimated production.
The carry-over at principal s 11 .=- centers if these three countries
at the end of June 1-l0, v'r~ 1:- millionn 7 l.r:r cormnar. i with only n?' million
r-":..-: a year earlier. This is exclusive of far'n stocks renort.. from time
to time by official .d sc.-i-official surci-s.
Stocks of old anid rne: clip wool at selling centers in Australia, ::ew
Zealand and the Union of South Africa at the end of July, the first month
of the 1 -39 season, amounted t 14l3 million pounds, and were over twice
as large as Lrt the end of July l37 but smaller by 2 million pounds than at
the end -" =- which is unusual. The reduction in stocks at sellir.g centers
in these c. :;es in July as ccr-;-! with June this y'-'ar is the result of
smaller recep tC of new cli- wool in July than a year earlier. Jrl;. exr-,rts
from Austr lia, Ne: Zealand and the Uni :.. of 5--ith Africa amounting to 6
million ;.' \: er, 12 percent '-nller than in the save month -.f 1937 but 3
rrcer.t above average.
St-'cks 2/ of wol in Ar'e:.tina ani Ur'.:-s:, on July the end of
the first 10 months of the !'37-3S season, amounted to a.rr-:-:iately 160 million
.-l^a.is n.1 were about twice as large as on the same date a ;.:an earlier a.d
70 percent lar-er than average July 31 s'u:lies for the 5 .--rs 1937 to 1936.
Stocks of wool on hand as of July 31 in the five Southern He:.is-here
countries mentioned an-ounted to about '['.- million nournds compared with 136
million poun s on Jul; 51, 7 7 and av-er- ,-: July 31 stocks for the years 1'I2
to 1936 of 219 :illio:i pounds.
S3rts :'r-- Southern :---:sphere Countries
Exports fr3n Australia oad th' .-.io:. of South Africa for the season
ended June 3, c-nountd to -? million ..i, '.c:- ri.7 to -:'ficr-.l estimates
which was 8 percent s:.aller than in l(c-37. All of the most innortant Eurorean
consu:.-'-. con rs took l':r-. r armonrts than t'h :* ii last season but the increase
to those countries was more than offset 1 a decrease ,f 75 million pounds in
-:. :.rts to the L'r.ited Sttes, and a decrease of i' rllli-.. ..::.'. in exports to
;-. rts fro:. Argentina for the 10 months of the season thrc::. Jul;,,
a-no'.r.._ to ;:..1i -illi?:. r':'..*.s a decrease of 15 percent coD.ar-:d with
--.j37. .Ex~rts during the first 6 months of the season v:ere unusually small,
the decrease ceruared with the rr. zlin~ season for the sa:e reriod t. ing 4c
rer-..r.t. Since lecbrary, however, :c:.-rts in each month have been larger than
in 1:7'-37. .: -rts fr-.: Ur,~ua: in the first 10 months of the season to July
31 were "- percent s-aller than those ;. a ;.--:r earlier.
2/ 3-rr:-:.ver into the l$o7-?7 season :1us estimated ri-;ction minus .::- -rts
and esti-.ated :..-.tity consumed July 31, Season ends S.:rt -ber 30.
au ply Situation in mporting Countries
The sharp decline in Southern Hemisphere exports in the 1937-38
season was largely the result of the decline in ir-orts into Japan and
the United States.
Imports into Japan in the 12 months ended June were only 95
million o. ?.urds compared with 258 million pounds in 1936-37 and an
average of 235 million pounds in the previous 5 years. While stocks of
wool in Jaan are unusually low, imports are likely to remain curtailed
under present economic conditions, but perhaps not to so great an extent
as in the season just closed. Japan has recently renewed a trade agree-
ment with Australia under which some increase in wool purchases appears
possible. It is to be noted, however, that Japan's purchases under
the previous agzr.-emcnt fell far short of the queta.
Retained imports into the United Kingdom in the 12 months ended
June 1938 were about the same as in the previous season, although consump-
tion of imported wool is unofficially estimated to have declined as much
as 25 percent. The re- lively large imports in the 1937-38 season, when
mill activity was reduced probably are accounted for by the relatively
small supplies held at the beginning of the season. With stocks re-
plenished, no general increase in demand for raw wool in the United
Kingdom appears likely until there is a substantial improvement in mill
activity in that country.
Imports into France and Germany in 1937-38 were considerably
larger than in the previous season and the German imports were equal to
the average i -ports of the 5 preceding years. Demand from German buyers
is lareel.r doxendent upon barter agreements between Germainy and surplus
wool-prouic.ing countries. The lower wool prices in 1937-38 made it
possible for Germany to secure larger quantities of wool under existing
Thile there has been some ir.provement in mill activity in Germany
and France this year, stocks of raw wool in those countries probably
are larger than a year earlier. Exports of wool manufactures from
France in the first half of 193g were slightly larger than in the same
months of 1937.
- 8 -
S"lPF LE;-3I:TARY DATA
Table 1.- Prices of wool per pound in specified markets and prices of textile
raw materials in the United Stttes, selected .-erio 1936-38
Market and description
Territory cn:ibing scoured basis:
64s, 70C, 80s, (fine) ....
56s, (3;/ blood) .........
46s, (low 1/4 blood) .....
United St Ates:
Farm price, 15th of month,
grease basis ................
L d I
.LLU.UI n: Lj
Average quality, clean cost Z/ :
70s ............ .
56s ...................... :
Pre.df- rri: /
Scoured basis -
64s .nr .................
SOUTHERN EtMISPT- R -
Textile fibers -
Wocl, territory fine st -.le ~/:
Cotton, 7/8 Mi-.ling ,,.,
Silk, J-panerse 13-15 6/ ....
Rayon yarn, 150 denier ...... :
Average Average Aug.
1936 1937 1937
Cents Cents Cents
17.7 18.7 19.5
BETWEEI SEASONS-PRICES "'1OT RZFRESZSTATIVE
Foreign price: have been converted
ages are .- r?:;es of monthly prices
l/ Average of quotations for each
at ~revailir~ rates of exchax~ge. Yearly aver-
at prevailing- rates of exchange. Yearly aver-
Dxccrpt United States farm price which is
series of London sales reported by the London
Office of the Bureau. For months when no sales were held figures are interpolated.
2/ Top and noil in oil.
3/ Quotations reported about thr 25th of the month by the London Cffice of the
/ Scoured basis, Boston market,
5 AveraSge at 1C markets.
78 percent white, at New York.
Table 2.- United States: Wool imports, consumption and machinery
activity, specified periods, 1936-38
1936 1937 1937 193 : July : June : July
S: : : 1937 : 1938: 1938
S1,000 1,000 1,000 ,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
'* P1Ond EPQaaLSL&. la poundi qRounds p) OUn1S AULnD'L
Imports for consumption
actual weight: I/
Finer :c.n 40s.....: 84,759
Not finer than 40s. 25.953
aamfele hair ...... 143,276
basis 2/ -
Weekly average -
Apparel ...........: 5,351
Carpet ............: 2,029
ATparel ............: 278,258
Carpet ............: 105,504
172,091 128,604 20,253 13.570 3,609
3,193 4,102 3,867
861 1,581 828
173,752 98,991 20,510 15,467 22,746
78,758 26,699 7,905 3,313 4,996
: Percent recent. Percent Percentg P ercenntP t PegZrcent
Machinery activity: 2
Worsted combs ......:
Carpet and rug looms:
Import figures from official records of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic
Ceamerce. Consumption and machinery activity figures from the Bureau of the
I/ Weight of greasy, scoured and skin wool added together.
/ Figures for June based on 4 weeks, July on 5 weeks, January to July on 31
weeks. No adjustment made for holidays.
I .I l
- 9 -
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
l IIII111111111111111 I II i ll II
3 1262 08861 5751
- 10 -
TabllP .- Excprts :f .*:.l(g.reasc secured and washed confined) from Australia
and the T.nicn cf Scutr. Africa fcr entire seasr., July 1 to June 30, 1933-37
: ir. union of
Country of destination : Austr-lia 1/ : Scuth Africa 2/ : Total
::_____-37 : l-S-3SE: 1336-37: 1937-38: 1936-37 : 1937-38
-. il.l ":il.lb. :.ril.iL. il. t. Mil.lb. Mil. I b.
United Kingdom ..........
Germany .. ..............:
Japan .................. .:
r.nited States ........... :
Cther countries ..........:
Gr .r.d tctal ........ :
'.7-1 Intelligence : :tes.
/ Statistics of the Ccrr:r.nwealth :f Australia Bureau :f Cersus ard Statistics.
2/ F-%:rt of the South .frican Tr,-'de Corrnissicner in Lcr.dcn.
/ If any, included with other r cor.tri: ".
Table 4.- E- ortt -f 1:.- (-reise, s::c'urc and :.-ashed ccr:bir.e4 from
Argentina and "r-gtr" t: rrir.'ipal c:nr'uming countries, first 10
months cf sea-'r., -r c:-r 1 to i.l:,y 31, 199'-37 and 1937-39
: ,r tr ina : Uruguay : Total
Country of detdnati-n :1l-37 :19$7-SP :*153-37 :197-3. :1936-37 :1937-38
citedd 1:. -- ......... : '.4
Germany .............. 17.9
Frw .ce ................: 4.7
Italy ..................: 25.
Belgium .............. : ..
Netherlands ...............: _.9
Japan ................... .: 1.2
r. itei 5 .tes ... ......: .?
Total .............: 2 .
tt r countries ...........: I2.
,r-nd total .......: 91.3
Trade reports su:.11'-- :, r-..r-a i.ir-.s 'fr_?c :; tt. E'rrc.'.; :-f Arricuitural
: 1.1b. :il.1 il.lb. ii.1b.
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