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4 UNITED STATES LEPARTI.EIIT OF AGRICULTURE
Bureau of Agricultural Economics
WOOL-37 January 10, 194r4
UNIV OF FLLIB-
DOCUMENTS HE W 0 0 L S T TU A T I
The u y--,.''i-" cf dr.iesti,- wool in the United States -t the b.Egin-
ning of the new nr:k tr:ing season on April 1 194 is li::;ly, tn br the
smallest in recent years. Pecau.se of ti- s~iiall sur:lies ,.f domestic wool
available, i'.t.rest in thie wool market in t he next few rimnth i- will be
cpnterpd la.rg-l,' .n f-reifn wircls. With mill consu-mr.ption likely tr con-
tinue at a inirl.y hi'gh lve.l in the first *fquart r of 194(, i!mortz of
apparel wool in th-e ariv months of 194,K, itrobab.ly will be larger than at
any t ine since the earl,- mo:nt hs of 1''7.
li-ll consuz,.r:tion of ap;:ar.iel wool in th i United. tates in iTlovemnt
was slightly smaller than in Octcber, but the ]]overmber consoLumpti-on was 12
percent larger than a -.ear earlier and, with the exception of liove-mber
1935, war the largest ITcov-.;rribr consum-ptiorn in the last 15 years. Con-
sumption for the.- entire y-ear 1935 will be crose to the 191735 total of 659
million F.1oun.:. E. grea-se basis. Th'- 193 consumption ,was the iars at in re-
United States imports of apparel w.ol f)r consujm.t tion tot-led 3.2
million p.oundls in the first ii months rf 19?3 com.are.d v.ith .nly. 26 million
pounds in the smare months of 193" and a a- avrag oNf 7r million pounds for
those r.nths in the 5 -.yerrs 1933-37. RFc-ipt.-t of foreign wool. at United
States -orts increased shirpT.l,- in 1To.-ember ani in December.
The 19?4: A,.ricultural C utlook Chart Pook fcr Shefp,
Lambs, and Wcol is now available to readers of The Wool Situation.
An;, reader who want s a copo, may, obtain it upon request to the
Division of Econcnic Inlformation, Burepau of Agricu.ltural Eco-
nomics, Washington. D. C.
Sales of domestic wool were small in December. Quotations were
firm on fine and 1/2 blood wools but prices were somewhat irregular on
coarser grades in the latter n.rt of the month. Prices of domestic wools
are still about 40 percent higher than before the sharp rise in September.
Wool prices advanced at South African sales in December.
Orders are now being placed in Australia for fine and 1/2 blood
wools to be imported to the United States. Details concrernirn4 arrange-
ments for the release of Australian wool to United States buyers were re-
ported by Australian Government Trole Commissioner L. R. MacGregor in mid-
December. (The complete statement by Commissioner MacGregor is given on
EC'E~ DZ'VEL'OT::Z.! S IN DOMESTIC SITUATION
Domestic wool prices mostly -tad' in December
Sales were small in the Boston wool market in December. Prices were
firm on fine and 1/2 blood domestic wools but were somewhat irrpeular on
coarser grades in the latter part if the month. Quotations on marine wools
for import from South Africa and South America were lower than prices of
fine and 1/2 blood domestic wools on the Boston market, according to the
Agricultural Marketing Service.
Prices of fine o-ures ef domestic territory wool at the end "f
December were slightly higher than a month earlier. Good French combing
length fine territory wools in ori:ir.:~l a- sold at $1.00 $1.02 a pound,
scoured basis, the last week of December compared with $.97 $1.00 a month
earlier. Prices of territory 3/8 blood and 1/4 bld'- wools, on the other
hand, declined during D-.c--ir.i. i>;-itory 3/0 blood rc.l. rin wool av.er'ned
3 cents a pound, scoured basis, in the last week of December -cn0.ar:ed with
86.5 cents a pound at the end of November. Prices of grad,-d territory wols
at Boston are about 40 percent h'i,ht':-. than before the sharp rise in Sept ember.
.z- stations on r.-":-' fleece wools were l1 r,-lyr nominal and unchanged
in D.-c-ber. IHird grade lots of country packed 3/8 od 1/4 bl:o-d bri -ht
fleece wools were quoted at 43-45 cents a I'-.uid, ;r=a-e basis, in the last
week of DeceberT compared with 4--4S cents a rpo-.u,d a month earlier. Thn
United States aver-. price of wool received by farmers was 27.5 cents a
pn-r,~. on December 15. It was 27.6 cents a pun."id on !vent.ser, 15 1.nd 20.3
cents on December 15, 19 3.
IMT'j. rtf iri,'r-.asp in !'OVr' ."i'-r
United States imports for c'r..-'L:tion f .-.yarel wool totaled 11.9
million p.:,ln,.1s in November compared with 9.4 million'-unl.ds in October and
4.1 million pounds in TorerFtiber 1938. Imports of apparel wool totaled 82.3
million pounds from January through November 1939 compared with 26.4 million
poundCs in the same months of 1938 and an average of 70 million pounds for
those months in the 5 years 1933-37-
Imports for consumption of carpet wool totaled 135 million pounds
from January through November 1939 compared with 58 million pounds in the
same months of 1938 and an average of 125 million pounds for those months
in the 5 years 1933-37.
Total receipts of foreign wool at United States ports increased sharp-
ly in November and December. More than 5 million pounds of wool were re-
ceived at the Port of Boston alone in the week ended Decea ber 23. This was
the largest total for any week in the last 2 years. Such receipts include
wools entered for storage in bonded warehouses as well as entries for
Mill consumption continues large in November
The weekly rate of mill consuraption of apparel wool in the United
States was 6,609,OCO pounds, scoured basis, in November. This was slightly
lower than the October rate of consumption but was 12 percent higher than
that of November 1938. Consumption in October and November 1939 was the
largest for any two consecutive months in the last 15 years, with the ex-
ception of the October-Uoc.': .!er consumption in 1935.
Consumption 'of apparel wool on a grease basis from January through
November 1939. vas equivalent to 510 million pounds of shorn wool and 73
million pounds of pulled wool. Consumption in the same months of 1938 was
equivalent to 349 million pounds of shorn wool and 60 million pounds of
pulled wool. The consumption from January through November 1939 was about
40 percent 1.:-' than in those months last year and about 27 percent larger
than the 11-month average for the 10'years 1928-37.
Carry-over of domestic wool into 1940 season will be seall
The carry-over of domestic wool in the-United States at the beginning
of the new marketing season on April 1, 1940 is likely to be the smallest in
recent years. With 4 months remaining until the opening of the 1940 season,
stocks of domestic wool on December 1 totaled about 200 million pounds of
shorn and pulled wool. Mill consumption of domestic wool in the first 8
months (April-November) of the current season averaged nearly 48 million
pounds a month. Consumption of foreign s;. -rel wool by Un'ited States mills
from April through November averaged about 6-1/2 miillion pounds a month.
The domestic supply situation at the present time is somewhat similar
to that of early 1937. Stocks of wool at the end of 1936 were small, and in
the first quarter of 1937 imports and mill consumption wore relatively large.
On April 1, 1937 United States dealers and manufacturers held about 116
million pounds of domestic shorn and pulled wool. The carry-over of domestic
- 3 -
wool into the 1937 season was the smallest in recent years. Because of
the relatively lar-e imports in the first quarter of 1937, however, total
stocks of foreign and domestic apparel wool held by dealers and manufacturers
on April 1, 1937 were larger than on April 1, 1936.
Large imports --ill surln-mernt domestic supplies
In view of the relatively small stocks of domestic wool on hand in
the United States, imports of apparel wool in the first quarter of 1940 are
likely to be larger than at any time since the early months of 1937. General
imports of apparel wool in the first 3 months of 1937 totaled 110 million
United States buyers purchased considerable wool in the South African
and South American markets in the last 4 months of 1939 and were reported
to be active buyers when the sales were resumed after the holidays. With
supplies of domestic wool on January 1 estimated to be smaller than the
stocks on that date in any recent year, interest in the wool market in the
nc-t few months is likely to be~ contoied Ir.rc'.y on foreign wools.
Consumption Tro:r,--ctc for 1940 still uncertain
Mill consumption in the first quarter of 1940 probably will continue
at a fairly high level. For the entire year 1940 prospects for mill con-
sumption are rather uncertain. Consumption in 1939, however, was almost as
large as the near record figure of 13?5. In recent years, there has been
a decidacE. tendency for a decrease in consumption to follow a '.o-r of in-
creasing consumption, such as 1939. If this tendency continues,mill con-
sumption in 1940 will bo somewhat smaller than in 1939.
Production, imports, nnd mill consumption of apparel wool,
grease banis, in the United States, annual 1935-38 and
April-ITovember 1938 and 1939
Year boc;:r i:r.- : Production : General : Mill
Apr. 1 : imports 1/ : consumption
: million Million Million
: pounds poundouns ouns
1935-36 : 431 83 2/ 673
1936-37 427 164 5S2
1937-3 : 433 6o 407
1938-39 436 49 I/ j:,4
Apr.-Nov. 193 : 4/ 436 17 337
Apr.-Nov. 1939 / 440 57 434
Import figures from the au 2aJ. of Foreign a.n Domostic Conmerce. Con-
sumption figures from the Bur iau of the Census.
I/ U7- -hit as reported, greasy, scoured, and skin wool added together.
2/ Stocks of p.'p.-:i.-! wool in the United Str7tes were I2rj,,Q at the beginning
./ Bureau of the Census fi .-u'e adjustedd to 52-weok basis.
/ Production for entire .r. Fri ure for 1939 includes pulled wool
estimate o2-ual to 1938 .pro luation of pulled wool.
WOOL-37 5 -
South African sales
Wool prices advanced in South African markets in the latter part of
November and in December, according to cabled reports received from the
American Legation at Preturia. Price advances were greatest on short and
medium length wools. Average prices of 64-70s combing and super combing
length wools for the week ended December 15 were 3 to 6 percent higher than
for the week ended November 17. Prices of 64-70s short combing and super
short lengths were about 22 percent higher on December ?5 than on November 17.
Prices for the week ended December 15 were slightly lower than prices reported
at the opening of the current season on September 28. r'e United States,
England, France, and other continental European countries were active at the
The improvement in the South African wool market in December accompanied
increased sales to private interests and active bidding on behalf of the
British Government in application of the British-South African price schedule,
effective December 7. This schedule provides that representatives of the
British Government shall bid on offerings at the South African sales to the
extent that prices shall not drop below those agreed upon in the price schedule.
The actual schedule of prices has not been disclosed.
Receipts of wool at South African selling centers in the first 5-
months (July-November) of the 1939-40 season were about 5 percent larger than
a year earlier. Sales and shipments from July through November 1939, however,
were much smaller than in the same months of 1939. Unsold stocks at selling
centers on NIve-r-ib r 30 totaled about 42 million pounds. Such stocks were
more than twice as large as a year earlier and were twice as large as average
November 30 stocks in the 5 years 1933-37-
Prices of 64-70 wools in South African markets in the current season,
with comparisons l/
: 19398 : 1939
Item 1937 : Open : Week ended
High Novi Dec.
A i !av. av. : Sept. : Nov. : Nov.: Dec. : Dec.
:: 28 : 3 : 17 : 1 :15
Cents Cents Cents Cents Cents Cents Cents Cents
Super combing 68.0 42.5 40.1 51.2 47.5 47.2 47.7 4g.8
Ccmbing : 65.9 39.8 37.6 49.5 44.2 43.1 44.0 46.0
Short combing :62.9 36.9 35.6 42.9 34.6 33-1 36.6 40.6
Super shorts :56.8 34.0 32.6 38.0 31.0 29.8 33.0 36.3
Compiled from South African Crops and Markets and cabled reports from the
American Legation at Pretoria.
Prices converted from South African pence to cents at current rates of exchange.
I/ Quotations are in cents per pound, clean basis.
Following almost complete inactivity in the Uruguay wool market in
October and November, sales were resumed on a moderate scale in December.
United States buyers purchased between 1,000 and 2,000 bales (1-2 milllcn
pounds) at prices 3 to 6 cents a pound lower than prices quoted in September,
according to a cable from the American Legation at Montevideo.
Exports from Uruguay in the first 2 months (October November) of the
1939-40 marketing season totaled about g million pounds. The October-November
exports were 44 percent smaller than those of a year earlier. Wools ex-
ported in October and Nov-mbcr 1939 were chiefly of the previous clip. No
important shipments of the 1939-40 clip were possible until the last week
of November became of delayed shearing.
Prices of coarse crossbred
in November following large sales
according to commercial reports.
and prices late in the month were
the outbreak of the European War.
wools in the Buenos Aires market advanced
of such wool to the French Government,
Sales of fine-wools were small in November,
reported to be lower than at any time since
Experts of wool from Argentina in the first 2 months (OctobcriNovaember)
of the 1939-40 marketing season were about 25 percent smaller than a year
earlier, but exports were larger than the average crports for thnse months
in the 5 years 1933-37.
Wool exports from Argentina, Uruguay, and the Union of South Africa,
through November of the 1939-40 season with comparisons 1/
: Season Season through November
country 1937- 193-39 1937-38 193-39 1939-40
SMil. lb. Mil. lb. Mil. lb. Mil. lb. Mil. lb.
Argentina / : 293.2. 375.4 16.6 53.3 39.0
Uruguay 92.7 128.0 2.6 14.6 .2
Two countries : 35.9 503.4 19.2 67.9 47.2
Union of South Africa 218.4 241.0 57.4 69.1 33.0
l/ ,:acn begins October 1
3 Scoured rnd washed wool
in Argentina and Uruguay, July 1 in Union of
converted to grease basis.
Australian wool evil'ble to United States buyers
Orders are now being placed in Australia for fine and 1/2 blood wools
to be imported to the United States. Details concerning arrangements for
- 7 -
the release of Australian wool to United.States buyers were set forth in a
statement of Australian Government Trade Commissioner in the United States,
Mr. L. R. MacGregor, to the National Association of Wool Manufacturers in mid-
December. The statement follows:
"1. As has been previously announced, the British Government
has purchased the entire Australian clip for the duration of
the war and one year thereafter. The policy to be pursued in
the sale of the clip has, therefore, been a matter for decision
by the British authorities. It is regretted thai there has been
some delay in completing arrangement. Those fen-. iar with the
trade will, however, appreciate that some delay c>,:s unavoidable
having regard to the magnitude of the transactio-iu involved in
the purchase by the British authorities of such a substantial
proportion of the world's wool clips, and in the coordinating of
arra;,i.:' nts for domestic consumption, and for export and import
trade in so mai:-', countries. Some delay is inseparable from the
changing over from peacetime to war conditions of trades of such
magnitude nnd carried on in so many different parts of the world.
"2. The policy decided upon by the British authorities
respecting the distribution of Austrli-an wool will be carried
out by the Australian Central "r.ol Committee, the address of
which is 540 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia, the
cable address being 'Cenwool, Melbourne.' I have been sithorized
by the Australian Central Wool Comnittee to indicate to the
American trade the principles which will be followed in the
making available of supplies of Australian wool to the United
Crgo Room Available
"3. As announced a few days ago, up to 75,000 bales
(22,500,000 pounds) will be avail:-olo (for the United States)
over a short period. Shipp-;r~g is in a position to load 22,000
bales by the end of the present month (December) and with other
bottoms avcil.cb'!Tc early in the New Year.
"The Central Wool Committee will utilize space as availPble,
freight to be payable at the Anerican end. Insurance will be
the responsibility of the American buyer. The Central Wool
Committee will make every endeavor to arrange sufficient prompt
"4. The Central Wool Committee is now in a position to quote
prices to United States buyers of the commercial types and des-
criptions of wool of the various Australian buying houses as
well known to the Boston representatives of thcle houses and
generally familiar to the trade.
"5. Selling prices will be based on Bradford Standards of
condition. I an not sure as yet as to the question of Bradford
Standards of quality but it is the intention to sell on all
Bradford Standards. The Australian Central Wool Committee states
that it estimates the difference in clean cost as between Bradford
and Americnt standards broadly at 2 cents on 3Q pence and 2-1/2
cents on 36 pence and 3-1/2 cents on 48 pence (about 4 percent
at December rate of exchange for British pound).
"6. All sales will be on a non-L-uaranteed basis, but
every care will be exercised by the experienced wool operators
who are },r-idlinr- the clip.
"7. Selling: prices will be in sterling at a rate r-er
pound. T:F, s rates will be subject to two deductions, viz:
21 percent and also to deduction of 1.73d per pound on greasy
weight representing an allowance for ocean freight. I am not
sure at the moment about the 2- p-ercent deduction, but pending
further advice, I understand this is probably for commission
and to be divided as between the Australian houses and the
American agents in a manner to be arr i--tra d between them. The
prices te be quoted, therefore, will provide a means of readily
calculating the c.i.f. basis Boston (excluding war insurance).
"s. American buyers desiring to purchase Australian
wool should approach the usual contacts in Boston or in Aus-
tralia as the case may be. The Australian Central Wool Com-
mittee requests that details of the total volume of orders as
obtained by each Boston house be given to me, and that the
orders be supported by ap-roved undertakings to establish the
necessary dollar credits on advice of acceptance of the busi-
ness by the Australian Central Wool Coma:;ittee. The dollar
credits are to be made available through American agents of
the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to be nominated within a
few days. The Wool Committee further asks that details of
the types included in orders should go from the Boston agents
to their regular Australian houses who, in turn, will transmit
these details to the Central Wool Committee. The Central Wool
Committee will thun quote its clean price f.o.b. bona fide for
the specified commercial types.
"9. Th-.rj are over 90' ti.-s in the official table of
limits. As above indic'-t-d, however, the ordinary commercial
types familiar to the trade can be used. As a broad indication
of the general level of prices which have been fixed for sales
to America, I cite the following instances of commercial types,
b.-sirn the comnutartion on an approximate equivalent of c.i.f.
Boston (excluding war risk insurance), viz:
''h"s/70s leaning to 70s, combing super style, j9 .
"''s/66s, super spinners half warp, 375Ad.
"64s warp, fair average sinners of tormr.iaking, free
or nearly free, 35d.
'"6s/'4s warp and one-half warp, fair average spinners
or good topmaking, free or nearly free, 33d.
''"~ warp ri1 one-half warp, average topmaking, free or
nearly free, 32d.
"Greasy burry, lamb for c-r-r..nizing 64s, goo'l style,
good make and color, 31d.
"Commenting upon the above prices, it appears to me that
at the present rate of exchange (December) the above mentioned
selection of typical instances of types and descriptions discloses
a range of values which today is approximately equivalent to from
90 cents per pound to Jl..02 per pound, basis c.i.f. Boston duty
paid, excluding &war risk insurance. This is for combing wools
converted to American yields and qualities. It should be observed,
of course, that the above mentioned types have been cited only as
instances. A more complete range of types is a'te.lable from the
Australian Central Wool Committee.
"10. It will be seen from the foregoing that an endeavor
has been made by the authorities to devise a nlan which calls
for the utilization of existing channels of distribution and which
conforms as closely as possible to the normal peacetime method of
"l1. I will be glad to hear from any trader or manufac-
turer who has any views on the general questions involved which
he would like to have brought before the proper authorities."
Prices of wool and textile raw materials in the United States,
specified periods, 1937-39
itm Average : High : 1938 : 1939
m 1937 : 1938 : 1937 : Dec. : Oct. : Nov. : Dec.
: Cents Cents Cents Cents Cents Cents Cents
Territory, scoured basis
64s, 70s, 80s(fine)staple ..: 101.9 70.4 114.0 71.9 109.5 105.4 105.8
56s (3/8 blood) combing ....: 87.1 58.9 100.5 59.8 94.1 87.9 85.9
46s (Low 1/4 blood) ........: 72.1 52.4 84.0 54.2 87.5 81.7 79.0
Bright fleece, greasy
64s,70s,80s(fine) delaine ..: 40.9 29.0 47.0 29.5 43.0 40.6 41.2
56s(3/8 blood) combing ....: 43..7 29.5 53.0 31.9 48.8 47.0 46.0
46s (Low 1/4 blodd) ........: 39..7 28.3 47.0 30.5 49.0 46.6 45.5
Price received by farmers,
grease basis, 15th of month :32.0 19.1 33.2 20.2 28.7 27.6 27.5
'!4ol, Terr. fine staple / : 101.9 70.4 114.0 71.9 109.5 105.4 105.8
Cotton 7/8.Middling 2/ ....: 11.22 8.58 14.15 8.45 8.83 9.22 10.39
Silk, Japanese 3/ ............: 1860 170.6 205.1 180.9 327.1 339.4 392.1
Rayon yarn, 150 denier 4/ ..& 62.2 52.2 63.0 51.0 53..0 53.0 53.0
Compiled from reports of the Agricultural Marketing Service, except as otherwise
Yearly averages are averages of monthly prices except United States farm price,
which is a weighted average.
1/ Scoured basis, Boston market. 2/ Average at 10 markets.
-/ White 13-15 denier, at New York, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
4/ Domestic yarn, first quality, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- 9 -
Uj 1vERST20 O8 FLORIDA
3 1262 088615793
.t-'c 1 iTmports, consumpt ion and machinery activity,
zpecified peri: is, 1 97-39
Imports for consujr,-ti-:r.: i-.: 'und.
actual weight: i.
ApE arel ................ ,1
Finer than 40s ......: .1 -.,71.
Not finer than .40 ...: 2.,.='
camels hair .......... 17;,C'1
: : ov.
141 : O .ct. N.ov.
1,000 1,C000' 1 ,C0 1,000
pounds pou.rds p'-.unds pounds
71,;. 5i,2% 175,035 11,963 10,266 10,602
onst.irpt! ion, scour d
Apparel .... ........ : 4,77
Carpet ........... .... 2,n .:-
Apparel-.............: 27,1: i
Carpet ..............: 105,1 7
4,14jl ., 5.,64 5,078 6,797 6,609
1,225 i,15 1,995 1,213 2,255 2,310
'- .. '- -
n1 ,.5 1 :, "7 27. r-,
23,.I12 33,984 26,436
7,716 11,274 9,238
Mi.chine ry ?t i-'_, : .
Hours operated r .r
machine in plac1- 3.'
Worsted combs ........: '-..1 :.5 :7." 51.3 56.E 64.2 60.7
Worsted spindl.: ....: .., ,. 3"..I '0.1 50.6 49.6
Woolen spindle: ..... -.I : ,,7 6 .7. 45.' 44.9
Woolen and wo r : .- .i
Broad ..., ......... : .7 40.1 .5 41.7 47.8
Narrow ..... ... : 1.. '.' it .T .:-. 1:.: 1 .5 19.7
Carpet and rug lo:r:-:
Broad ..,, .. .... :' .r a"' 3 2.-. -- 4 .1 43.8
Narrow; .............: i" 1 .-'. .9 19. 26.3 24.4
Imp rt f'if',cr- fr-r r t7- Evrr- :i :f' or- i-n nl ri L':.n: stic Col-merce. Cr'ns'umT.ti on and
machinery activit- rt:ni. th:- Pure?.u f the :'-rluz.
1/ Weight of gre.-: :-our.,,, and skin wc.l ai. ed tc.feth'er.
/ Figures for No"'rr'-T r rasr on r weks, oret.rler 'n 5 vee'-s, Jaruar:' through
November, 48 weeks: 1..-V: t. : z.. -d .-. :-. ",.- B d-.': 1: .diu tmerr t .r:de for holidays.
3/ "Weekly averar- ..r- r. : 1.t::i r: ninine or :rin..ll, i:n pla:c", will take the
place of "Fernert cc ,f r ?::r1: .'" s-' 1r.1 l ift carf.~.i t:'" pre'vio' ilP rpcForted. The per-
centage of singlE :hift c-.?it ;: -1' }i.ur:i r: T:.' t. Tbtainod b:' dividing the above
figures by 40.
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