- V J
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Bureau of Arricultural Economics
WOOL-24 DecembTer 10, 1938
DCuMENT -PT HE '. 0 C0 L S I T U A T I 0 I
I-. ... *
ISa f raw wool in the domestic market were small in liovember but
prices shoved little change during the month, reports the Bureau of Agricultural
Economics. Advance sales of wvcol fabrics by mills for the spring season are
reported to be much larger than in late 19Z7, and -ill consumption is expected
to be well maintained in the next few months.
Wool prices, in terms of United State, doll-.rs, d:elinel at the London
sales in Novenber while prices in the domestic market remained largely unchanged.
At the beginning of December the spread between Boston and London quotations
for-somewhat similar grades of wool was wider than at any time since the latter
part of 1937. In view of the continued widening of the spread between domestic
and foreign prices, further advances in prices of domestic wool will be limited,
unless there is some rise in foreign prices.
As reported in the Niovember issue of the Wool Situation, the carry-over
of wool in this country into the 1939 season, beginning April 1, is likely to
be smaller than the carry-over into the current season as a result of the
recent improvement in mill consumption and the srall imports. Imports of
apparel wool in the first 10 months of 1938 were only 22.3 million pounds com-
pared with 144 million pounds imported from January to October last year.
The weekly average rate of mill consumption of apparel wool in the United
States in October was 4.9 million pounds, scoured basis. This was slightly
higher than the September rate of consumption and was 53 percent higher than in
WOOL-24 2 -
October 19Z7. Because of the low rate of -:'r nunption in the early months
of the year, mill consumption of wool on a scoured basis, from January to
October 1953 was about 25 percent s .aller than in the first 10 months of
The trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom,
signed November 17, does not alter the duty of 34 cents per pound clean
content on raw wool, and the srL,:ific duties on wool manufactures which are
desired to compensate for the raw wool duty are mostly unchanged. But the
apreemr-nt provides for substantial red'jitions in the ad valorem duties on
wool manufactures to become effective on January 1. According to the Depart-
ment of State most of the concessions are made on distinctively British products
which are not directly competitive with the bulk of the domestic output.
On November 1, apparent supplies of wool in the five principal wool
exporting countries of the Southern E.-Lisph.. re were estimated to be 2 percent
larger than a year earlier but we-re slightly smaller than average November 1
supplies in the 5 years 1922-36. Ex-ports of wool to November 1 of the current
season were larger than in the same months last season and also were larger
than average exports for that period in the 5 years 1932-36.
Wool production in Australia for 1928-39 is now estimratcd at 940
million pounds. This is a decrease of 7 percent from the 1927-38 clip and is
the smallest production since 1930. Increases in production over the cr-vieus
season are estimated for other Southern T-mirsphpre countries, but these in-
creases are more than offset by the rrosr-ctive decrease in Austr3lia.
RECENT DDIELOPRF.FTTS E DI OSTIC SITUATIO:;
Backgrcund.-As a result of lsrge imports ..nd reduced mill con-
sumption in 1937, the 1938 doamstic wool marketir season opF-n:-d
in April with a much larger carry-over of v-ool than in the previous
season. The average far. price of wool, at the c- r.irn of the 1938
season was ebcert 45 Fercent lower than in April 1937. The decline
in mill consu:Tption in '.3", however, was.gr:ater than the decline
in sales of '1col -.0OLs to consumers, and stocks of manufactured
and semi-.:r:.__':actured wool :-rdoods were sharply reduced in the early
months of 1S53. IT? F-di-ral Government loan rro:ri-. for w rool
producers provided an important stabilizing influence on domestic
prices in the early months of the 1923 marketing season.
oool consumption and prices also declined in foreign coun-
tries in 1937 and the early months of 1938, but the declines were
not so ,rcat as in the United States. Since the .early summer of
this y-.r domestic mill consu-,,ion of wool has increased materially
and domestic prices have advanced moderately, but there has been
little recovery in foreign wool prices in this period.
Wool Sales and Prices
Mill buying in the dormstic wool market di.-clined during November.
Sales in the last week of the month were very limit -d, but quotations on'
graded wools at Boston, while nominal, were unchanged or only slightly lower
than in the early part of the month. Combing 3/8 blood bright fleece wools
which had advanced to 32-34 cents a pound the second week in November were
quoted nominally at 52-33 cents a pound, grease basis, the last week of the
month. Prices of fine delaine, bright fleece wools r-r-mained unchanged at
29-31 cents, grease basis, during I1ovenber.
Avcrase prices of most grades of territory wool at the end of Iove~Abc r
were cqual to or slightly higher than prices reported at the end of October.
With prices advancing during October and the first week of November end being
well maintained during the remainder of Hoi'cnmb, r, the NIcvember average price
for most wools was slightly higher than the October average.
The United States Evr:rige farm price of wool on November 15 was 20.5
cents a pound compared with 19.7 cents on October 15 and with 26 cents on
November 15, 1937.
Wool Imports and Stocks
United States imports of ,.r. irel wool for consumption were 4.8 million
pounds in October. This is an increase of 2 million pounds over the September
imports and is also a slight increase over October 1937. TImorts of such wool
in ttc first 10 months of 19 9 were only 22.3 million pounds compared with 144
million pounds imported from January to October last year and an average of 42
million pounds for the 5 years 1932-36. The January-October imports this year
were the smallest for those months in any recent year except 1932.
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7".r.--ts of carpet wool for :onrum.ption totaled 46 million pounds in
th' f: .-. 1-: .onthsi cf tni? :ywar .omnrar:d with 163 million pounds for the
SE 1.. .- j n 1? ". Cairpet wool imports this year also have been smaller
th-. .2 ....: ,' nt y. ar c-x .:c t 1;:'.
,Wth Imports rcm-inrir.j small, stocks of apparel wool in the United
States have bee-n sharply reduced in rec,-nt months as a result of large con-
surmption by dom.-stic mills. But btc-use of the larger carry-over into the
current season and the small consumpttion in the early months of 1958, stocks
of wool remaining at the end of October are estimated to have been larger
than a ye.ar earlier.
Production, imports -nd mill consumption of apparel wool, grease
basis, in the United States, specified periods, 1935-3r
Year beginning General i: ill
Apr. I : Production : imports 1/ : consumption
: million pounds Million pounds Million pounds
1935-36 : 431 83 2/ 67
1936-3 : 42" 164 582
19.37-38 : 43 60 407
Apr.-Oct. 1937 3/ 433 53 290
Apr.-Oct. 1939 prel. 3: / 4Z5 14 2 5
Imports from the Bureau of Forcign and Domestic Commerce. Consumption from
the Bureau of the Census.
1/ Weight as reported; greasy, sc-ured and skin wool added together.
2/ Stocks of apparel wool in the United States were large at the beginning
3/ Production for entire year.
The weekly rate of consuTption of apparel wool by domestic mills in
October was 4.9 million pounds scoured b:ass. The October rate of consumption
was slightly higher than th:-t of Scptember -nd was 53 percent high,-r than in
Octob. r 1937. B.:cause of three low rnte of consumption in the early months of
this y--ar, consumption of apparel wool scoured basis, from January to October
1938 was about 25 percent smaller th- m in the first 10 months of 1937.
f.i1l consumption on a grease basis in the first 10 months of this year
was --quivilent to 304 million pounds of shorn wool and 54 million pounds of
pulled wool. The consumption on a gr.e?.se basis, from January to October was
'-0 million pounds smaller tihn consumption in the same months of 1937.
Unfill,.d orders for men's wear cloths held by 138 reporting mills on
October 1 were slightly larger than a y air earlier but orders for women's wear
cloths nd utcloths nd to lths re smal] &1 An improvement in mill sales of wool
goods wis reported by the New York Top Exchange service in October and the
early part of November. Unfilled orders for men's wear cloths at the end of
November '.;are estimated by t.is service to be about 30 million linear yards
which would be' almost twice as large as on that date in 1937.
The following table show's unfilled orders reported by mills at the end
of each quarter. 193b to date
Unfilled orders for woven cloth, reported by 13 mills
at the end of each quarter, 1936 to date /
End cf .
: Women's : Auto Total
: wear : cloths 2/ _
1,000 1,000 1,000
linear yd. linear yd. linear yd.
Compiled from Lion-thi Statistics of Wool Manufacture, published by the National
Association of Wool Manufacturers. These 138 mills equipped with 30,000 looms.
Cloth less than 5?.. inches wide reported in equivalent 54-inch yardage.
_/ Reports are for specified dates near the end of each quarter, usually after
the 25th of the month.
2/ Excludes cloth with pile or jacquard design.
Trade Agr-~ ment "ith the Unit-d Kingdom
The trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom,
signed Iovember 17, includes concessions on imports of wool manufacturers into
the United States which will become effective on January 1. No change is made
in the duty of 34 cents a pound, clean content, on raw wool. And the specific
duties on wool manufactures, which are intended to compensate for the duties on
raw wool, are in general not changed.
The ad valorem portion of the duties on wool manufactures'which ranged from
35 to 60 percent under the tariff act of 1930 have been lowered substantially in
most cases. The largest reductions, however, are reported by the State Department
to be limited mostly to products elhich are not extensively produced in this country
and are not directly competitive v.ith the bulk of the domestic production.
The domestic wool outlook has not changed materially in the past month.
Advance sales of wool fabrics by mills for the spring season are reported to be
considerably larger than in 1937, and it seems likely that domestic mill consumption
of apparel wool will be well maintained in the early months of 1939.
In view of the substantial increase in mill consumption in recent months
it appears that consumption for' the year ended March 31, 1939, may be somewhat
larger than the domestic production of about 435 million pounds. If imports
remain small, as now appears likely, the carry-over of wool into the 1939 season
probably will be smaller than the carry-over into the current season.
The decline in wool prices at the London sales in November and the
continued decline ih the exchange value of the English pound resulted in a
further widening of the spread between domestic and foreign prices. At the be-
ginning of Decetber the spread between Boston and London quotations on similar
grades of wool was wider than at any time since the latter part of 1937.
In view of the continued increase in the spread between domestic and
foreign prices, further advances in prices of domestic wool which might result
from the improvement in domestic wool consumption are likely to be limited unless
there is some rise in foreign price in terms of United States dollars.
Wool Sales and Prices
The final series of London wool auctions for 1938 opened November 22.
Prices of greasy merino wools at the opening sales were about 5 percent lo.'er
than at the close of the previous series on September 30. Prices of most other
wools at the opening were equal to or about 5 percent higher than the September
quotations but the advance was not maintained. During the second week of sales
prices of practically all wools reverted to the September levels and prices of
some wools declined below those of September.
Quotations of London prices in United States dollars reflect the decline
in the exchange rate of the English pound between September and November as well
as the declines in wool quotations. At the close of the second week of the London
sales, average prices in United St.tes dollars fortrttgrjdes of wool on a clean
cost basis were about 1.5 cents a pound below the final September quotations.
England and France were the principal buyers during the first 2 weeks
of the sales.
Southern Hemisphere sales
After advancing in the early part of October, wool prices in Australian
selling centers -ere firm and unchanged during the latter part of October and
through most of November. England and continental Diropean countries -ere the
chief competitors at last months sales and there was some bidding by United States
buyers on wools of the highest quality. Sales to Japan were moderate. Total dis-
posals of wool in the first 4 months (July-October) of the current Australian
season were about 10 percent larger than in the same months of the previous season.
clearances at recent sales have been from 90 to 95 percent of offerings.
Thi price of Australian 70s warp wool, at the Sydney sales in October
averaged, 44.9 cents a pound, clean basis, delivered Bradford, compared with 44.4
cents in September and i:-3 cent? in OCctober 1937.
The average price of 7's .:, ',.':ol at South African selling centers in
October was 45.1 cents a pound cles.: bani cm,-p'rd with 41.. cents in September
and 56.9 cents in October 1937. En.ianri, Orers.-" and France have been the prin-
cipal buyers at South Africrn Felling ctnl -rs s. far this seairon. Prices were re-
ported firm to rlightl,' lo':wr in the :arl:'. part .,f Nov,-b:r.
The I:e', Z-alared selling& -sts-on oFeied et Aucklad on tlovembcr 2-.. Sales
were good at tlh .rendin ; and p2izi:s cf mos3 wocls '.ere rport--d to be slightly
higher than at thc opening of the 1)9'7-3` sca'coI.
Sales r.f wcij in Argen-iin arnd UTruua- in October, fth first month of the
new selling season, wtre much larger thca a. yuar earli.-r. P-ices t.er? reported to
be very firm at c-.untry pol.ti- out 'v.re irregula r at the Buenos Aires market.
Wcol .Sur lis in Fcr. ign C.intri es
On DIcvetm' r 1, aFpa.-:nt zi.c'pp'ie 1! for dis.psal in the 5 principal Southern
Hemisphere wool *exporting count.ri. s during t.o r.maindor of the 193,'-39 selling
season are estimated to be in Ly 2 perce--nt lar- r than a .'Eir earlier asrd are
'slightly smaller than the average supplies as of Ilovemb -r 1 in the years 1932-36,
S ELports of wool from Australia, the Union of South Africa a. d Hiew Zealand
in the first 4 months (July to October) of the c.irrent season v .erc 7 percent larger
than in the sqon months last y.ar uiid %ere 3 percent larger than average exports
for those months in the 5 yerrs 1932-36. Exports from Arg'ntina and Uruguay in
October, the first month of the South American export se-ason, also exceeded the
Wool exports from 5 Southern Hemis!ph.-re countries to October
31 of the 1953-39 snaSon, :.'ith comparisons
Country Pe-riod A : ol : 1937 193S 1/
"-. 10325 : .
: 11il. lbs. Mil. lbs. i'il. lbs. Mil. lbs.
Australia 2/. ......... July-Oct. 209.3 209.8 203.0 221.0
Union of So. ;.. :i. 2...: 34.3 37.1 2Z.7 30.4
New Zealan d 2/. ... ..... 2 2:.9 2C.b 27.2 25.5
Total 3 countz..s...... : 269.5 273.5 25S.9 276.9
Argentina 4/............: Oct. : 9.3 7. 7.0 13.5
Uruguay 4/ ............. 3.3 2.8 0.4 5.7
Total 2 countries ......: 13.2 10.4 7.4 22.5
1 Preliminary. / Estimrt .s of D-:- -"ty & Co. / Official estimates
4/ Commercial estimates supnli-d b: thh. Buenos Aircs office of the Bureau.
1i/ Carry-over from preceding season plus estimated production minus exports from
beginning of season to end of October.
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Smaller wool production indicated
The National Council cf Wool Sellirg Brokers and '":cl Growers of Australia
has revised the preshearing estimate of the 1%-R-39 Australian clip on the basis
of receipts into stcre in the first 5 months of the reason. Fr'ducticn for the
:yar is newv estimated at 940 million pounds, grease equivalent. This is a de-
crease of about 7 percent from last year's Frr.t-ucti:n and is the smallest pro-
dl.tic-n sine 1950. Increases in production ever tle previLos seas.:n are esti-
mated f:r the Unicn of S-uth Africa, New Zealan Argentina arid Uriuguay, but
these increases are mere than offset by the decline in r.ustralia Tctal production
for the 5 Southern Hemisphere countries is new estimated to be 2 percent smaller
tnan in 1937-3, and alsr 2 per-ent below the avo rage for the 5 years 1932-33 to
Peciuse cf the larger carry-z:ver intc. tie currentt seR-sn, tctal supplies
available in the 5 prin-ipal Scuthern HemisLF. re expcrtine. countries for the
19~28-5'9 easmn will be larger than la.t season tit may be sligl.tly smaller than
the ,-year averag-e.
;.?:1 prcdu-ticn in principal Srithe :rn n isFihere exporting countries
19538-39 season, with rci ,pr.ris r.s
1953-34 6 1l.54-35 19c5-,6 1.'530-37
: Mil.lb. .ii.l~. .'il.lb. Iil.lb. Mil.1b. Mil.lb.
Auctralia .... ...: *99..9 1015.4 971.1 98 :. iC10' .0 '2 940.0
British Sr.Afria..: 275.2 210.'i 23 ... 26 240.5
I.cw Zealand ......: 2:9.6 265.0 .504.3 3C?.9 8 305.0
Argent ina ........: 3/364.0' 3/348.0' 4,'4.0 4 337.0 '. 7.0. 4/ 375.0
Uruguay ....... : -104.7 119.0 11 .) 11 '.2 3 7/ 121.0
iT tal c:.unt rie, 2,:2 .4 1,95 .4 1,7 .2 2,. ,' .1 1,9 1.5
1' Fr-el iminary. c/De-cmb-r estimate cf Australi:,n vw.r: :.. 11 ir. tr:!- r.r nd wool
growe rs, converted F- pcuni:, greaa e cq'.iv:xlent. :.'Estir:t-. f t e ,.rcr.tine
Ministry of A;Mri''?lture, subject to revision. 4.'FFTtimn t c f'urr.i: 1.cL b': the
Buen:os Aire-. cffi'f :-f the Pureau of A Cric',ltur:.T ?;r.miis. : ,v v: r, based
on exports f.-r the 1917-53 saso-n. 6/ Sh.:rn w.o..1 -rcduction FTl..c.d ..t 1I ,.00,000
p:'o:unds by 1'.7 .. cns .us comnared with i3',C.I ,, :'C*-0 pr unJs r'- -rt.: in 1 ..0:. c nsu.
7/Estimurte furnished by the Buencs Air.-s office :f ti-is Bjr, u' rr.c.,d from
T'1,' ,CI C ", p :unds to 1.32,Coil1 : ounds.
Supplies in impo trt Tng countries
Inf',rmat i.n on wcol imports ani manufacti.rin- activity indicates that
st :ck-s raw .vool in m'nt European irportifl ,cr.tinri s at tic,,- rd of october were
somewhat Il arg r t h' n a y 4ear earlier. W-c I fr':'o t].u r!I:'; South rn 1Le:misph reo clip
is no ; arriving in consumingg cente-rs anr a seasonal incrcsas in stocks in im.-
porting cruntries is likely in the early rr.rntns -Tf 1':59.
'o,'?, imp,:rts into Jaran f'r-'m July: to Sept-:..b- .-r v:re larger than in the same
month hs of 1956 -And 1937 but in vi,,w -f t h!- snnll irreort. ;f t.I'c 1.37-38 season,
wrli stocks in Japan probably remain relative' ly sr-nll.
C unt ry
manufacturing acti-ity in imi' rtint countries
There has been a seasonal improvement in the wool manlifacturing industry of
the United l-ingdom since August. Empl- yn-,ent in the woolen and wrsted se" ticn in
October, however, remained b:-lcw tht of a yTear earlier with 15.8 percent of in-
sured workers registered as uremr.l -"d cn 'ctcb- r 17 *--mpF red -iith 11.3 percent in
October 1937 and 7.6 percent in '.;-t'btr 1956.
Wool manufacturing activityy ;rmpFrcv-. in rrance and F-Plgiur in -t :ber. Prc'-
ducticn of wool tops in Fr.hnc: sin? I.l;.>'. hasi b.- nr lar.r thj.n in tne same months
Table 1.- Friaes of '.I:ol p r
r't'. m .t rials in
Market ar.d d"script icn
Territory cCmlUrn.', cCU(red t :ia
64s, 7,s, 89r- fine .
56s ( ,3/ bl :-
46s 1l.w 1,4 tl-cd)
SUnited Stat :
Farm pricr, 15th of month,
Awvrage quality, clean cost 2/
Average price at selling centers,
grease wool 4/
Sydney (d i ivere-d Bridfo.rd)
70s warp, cl>An basis 5/
Union cf South Africa:
Average export price gr:-asy w-cil
Price at seilin, c':nt.rs, 70s
waErp, clO:-r :'st 8/
Argent inra-L'.--'r..:? Aires
Coarse cre.' :br'..1, gr.-as,' 10,'
Uruguay-Mc,-,t .id: :
Crossbred, re.--, 13/
Wool, territory fine staple 15/"
Cotton, 7/8 Middling 16/
Silk, Japanese 13-15 17/
Rayon yarn, 150 denier 1I/
['.-und in rpecifi-d markets and prices ,-f textile
te linited S. -,sel ?ted ;ri:ds, t19.d-T8
: Averas- J: Tiov, __: 19
: '-:'. ; ".-, : ] .7 : : : _*. : '07.
: '"nts Cn s C ts .nt Cer rt Cents
: 92.0 11.9 .9 .9 70.0 71.0C, 7 .R8
S ".4 ;7.1 7 .0 5 5 61.4
5. 72.1 60.6 5.0 53..2 55.0
6: 6 .'?
18.7 19.7 20.5
43.0 43.6 42.7
27.0 27.8 29.1
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WYC : L-24
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Table 1,- Prices of wool per pound in specified markets and prices cf textile
raw materials in the United St.t--,selected periods, 1936-38-
Foreign priceL- n v-, b.. n r n _rt. J .t pr.T v i 1 ir; rat s if xchange. Yearly
averages are averages of monthly prices except United States farm price -:hich
is a weighted average.
.1/ Average of quotations for each series of London sales reported by the London
office of the Bureau. F-r months when no sales were held, figures are inter-
2/ Top and nail in oil.
'/ Quotations reported about the 25th of the month by the London office cf the
4/ Reports of the National Council of Wiol Selling Brokers.
W/ Monthly averages of weekly quotations from the Wool Recrd and Textilo World,
/ 7-,,::nth average. No quotations April to August.
7 -/ S-ncuth average. No quotations May to Au~U3t.
8/ -:th African -inistry for Agriculture.
1/ lU-month average. No quotations July and August.
1,.' ,ocls of south and southeast Buenos Aires Province. Revista Quincenal do
r. .:ios Salc.berry Ber-rtche & Cia.
11, i0-month average. No quotations August and September.
12/ 4-nonth average. No quotations April to November.
S/ Boletin de H'-ienda, Uruguay.
T/ 6-month average. No quotations Kay to October.
1c/ Secured basis at Boston.
I1/Average at 10 markets.
T7/ 78 percent white at Fe-.' York Bureau of Labor Statistics.
1T/ Bu-reau of Labor Statistics.
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Table 2.-United States: Wool imports, consumption and machinery
activity, specified periods, 1937-38
: : Jan.-Oct. : 7 1938
Item : 1937 : 1937 : 1938 : Oct. : Sept. : Oct.
1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
: rounds pounds pounds pounds pounds pounds
Imports for consumption :
actual weight: 1/
Apparel 150,160 143,577 22,300 4,461 2,838 4,777
Finer than 40s :126,601 121,187 12,977 3,497 1,586 2,652
Not finer than 40s : 23,559 22,390 9,323 964 1,252 2,125
camels hair 172,091 162,683 46,297 9,513 9,301 10,436
basis: 2/(Weekly av.):
Apparel 4,772 5,161 3,781 3,219 4,905 4,924
Carpet 2,023 2,264 1,086 985 1,597 1,732
Apparel :248,121 227,095 166,365 16,095 19,619 24,619
Carpet :105,197 99,611 47,770 4,925 6,386 8,660
:Percent Percent Percent Percent Percent Percent
Machinery activity: 2/
Worsted combs : 115.2 124.6 89.8 74.6 112.3 115.1
Worsted spirndles : 82.2 87.8 58.3 57.9 72.7 81.4
"joolen spindles : 107.8 116.9 72.0 80.5 89.7 90.9
Looms, broad 97.2 104.3 64.8 68.9 77.2 77.0
Looms, narrow : 51.0 55.5 25.1 34.8 27.4 30.7
Carpet & rug looms 71.3 77.7 43.9 52.5 58.1 59.1
Import figures from official records of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce
Consumption and Machinery Activity from the Bureau of the Census.
1/ Weight of greasy, scoured and skin wool added together.
2/ Figures for October based on 5 weeks, Se-Fte--.b-r on 4 weeks, January to October
on 44 weeks, no adjustment made for holidays.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
UII 3IIII I1111126 0 II8 1 5769I Illlllllllll
3 1262 08861 5769