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BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
WOOL CLOTH: UNFILLED ORDERS REPORTED BY 119 MILLS,
UNITED STATES. BEGINNING OF EACH QUARTER, 1937-41
( MILLIONS )
0 -99 190 -
1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 194,
DATA FROM NATIOtPAL ASSOCIATION OF WOOL MANUFACTURERS.
DATA FOR 19J.' APE ESTIMATED.
U.5 DEPARTMENT OF ACRICULTURE
NEG. 39511 BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
UNFILLED ORDERS FOR OOL CLOTH HELD BY REPORTING MILLS ON JUNE 28,
1941 %ERE MORE THAN TWICE AS LARGE AS A YEAR EARLIER AND WERE THE LARGEST
IN RECENT YEARS. ABOUT ONE-FOURTH OF THE ORDERS WERE FOR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNT.
THE HIGH LEVEL OF ORDERS NOW HELD BY MILLS IS DUE IN LARGE PART TO ARMY
PURCHASES, BUT UNFILLED ORDERS FOR CIVILIAN GOODS ALSO WERE AT A RECORD
HIGH AT THE BEGINNING OF JULY. UNFILLED ORDERS WERE INCREASED FURTHER IN
JULY AS NEW AWARDS AERE MADE FOR ABOUT 19 MILLION YARDS OF CLOTH FOR ARMY
U.S. EPOSITORY I
THE WOOL SITUATION
Mill consumption of apparel wool in July, averaging 9,353,000 pounds
scoured basis per week, was below the record level of recent months. The
decline probably was due in part to seasonal factors, but it also reflects
labor difficulties in the industry. Even at the lower rate of consumption
reported in July, consumption for the year would exceed 900 million pounds
grease basis, by far the largest on record, Unfilled orders for wool cloth
now held by reporting mills are more than twice as large as a year earlier.
With new orders for Army materials to be awarded this month, mill consump-
tion is likely to be maintained at the current rate, or idjgher, during the
remainder of 1941.
Imports of apparel wool for consumption in the first 6 months of
this year totaled 348 million pounds compared with 98 million pounds in
the same months of 1940, Receipts of foreign apparel wool at three ports,
Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, continued fairly large in July and
August but the current rate of receipts is much smaller than in the first
half of the year.
Total supplies of apparel wool on hand in the United States on
August 1, including 1941 domestic production, probably were about 100
million pounds larger than a year earlier. But supplies are not large in
relation to the current rate of mill consumption. As no additional supplies
of domestic wool will be available for nill use much before June 1942 im-
ports are likely to increase in the late fall and winter when the 1941-42
clip becomes available in the Southern Hemisphere.
- 2 A
WOOL-57 3 -
Early indications are that wool production in Argentina and. Uruguay
in 1941-42 will not differ greatly from that of the current season. But
the carry-over of wool into the new season is expected to be much smaller
than in 1940 and total supplies availiol for export in 1941-42 will be
smaller than in the current season. Supplies of wool available in Aus-
tralia and South Africa in the 1941-42 season will be relatively large.
This wool is under regulation of the British Wool Control as to destina-
tion and prices.
Domestic prices of wool have not changed much during the past few
months after the marked advance in the last half of 1940. Sales of wool
were small at Boston in August but prices were generally firm. Mills were
receiving large deliveries of western domestic wools purchased in earlier
months, and these were sufficient to fill current needs. The invitation
for bids on Army materials in early September was followed by an increase
in sales of a few kinds of domestic wools at Boston.
-- September 10, 1941
REVIEW OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Prices Mostly Unchanged at Boston
Sales of wool were small .and price quotations on fine and medium
grades of apparel wool were largely unchanged during August., according to
reports of the Agricultural Marketing Service. Price quotations on coarse
grades advanced in August. The? slackness in trade was largely the result
of seasonal factors and of strikes in the wool :manufacturing industry.
Mills were receiving large deliveries of western grown wools purchased in
earlier months, and as these deliveries accumulated the need for new pur-
Quoted prices of fine combing (staple) territory wool at Boston
averaged $1.07 a pound, scoured basis, in August. Quoted prices on this
wool have remained unchanged since April. The average price of fine comb-
ing territory wool at Boston in August 1940 was 89 cents a pound. Quoted
prices of 3/8 blood combing territory wools, which had remained unchanged
since-May at 91.5 cents.a pound, declined to 59.5 cents in the latter part
of Augast. Prices of such wool- averaged 75.4 cents'a pound in August 1940.
The invitation for bids on Army materials in the first week of
September stimulated inquiries in the Boston wool market and was followed
by an increase in sales of a few kinds of domestic wool. Medium wools were
more active, ard prices showed a firmer tendency for 3/8 and 1/4 blood bright
fleece woJ s.
The average price of wool received by farmers in mid-August was 35.7
cents a pound compared with 0o.3 cents a month earlier and 27.3 c-nts a
year earlier. Prices r-ceived by farmers for woul shorn this year were
the highest in at least 12 years.
New Government Orders
In early September the Army requested bids on about 8.7 million
yards of woolen and worsted cloth. The bids will be o0- ued on September 15
and delivery of most items is to be completed within 130 days of the date
of -lard. Principal items to be ordered are 1.5 million yards of melton
ovcrcoating, 2 million yards of 18-ounce serge, 2.5 million y-rds of shirt-
ing flannel, 1.3 million :alis of wool lining cloth, and 1 million yards of
20-,oin.ce suiting. The bids are equivalent to about 25 million pounds of
domestic wool, grease basis.
As previously reported, orders were placed in July for about 19 mil-
lion yards of similar fabrics. Delivery periods specified in the July
orders were considerable longer than the 130 days specified for the new bids
to be opened this month.
Unfilled Orders for Wool 1C;e_;
at Record High
Unfilled orders for woven cloth reported by mills on June 28 totaled
97 million linear yards, the largest total on record, according to statistics
reported by the National Association of Wool Manufacturers. At the end of
June last year unfilled orders totaled 43 million linear yards. The total
for June 28 this year included, orders for 23 million yards of cloth for
Government agencies, chiefly imay materials, and the total was increased
further in July when awards wore made on large quantities of overcoating,
serge, and shirting materials for Army use. The July aarcds to 119 firms
which report to the National Association of Wool Manufacturers probably
totaled about 18 million yards.
Although the record level of orders at the present time is due in
large part to Government purchases, unfilled orders for civilian fabrics
probably were at record levels on June 28, surpassing the previous high at
the end of March 1937.
The chart on the cover page shows unfilled orders reported by 119
firms for specified dates near the beginning of each quarter, 1938-41 and
comparable estimates for 1937. The statistics are for woven cloth con-
taining by weight over 25 percent of yarns spun on the woolen and worsted
system. The orders cover men's wear and women's wear materials and auto
cloths, excluding cloths with pile or jacquard design. The 119 reporting
mills are equipped with 26,000 looms. Data for 1938-41 are given on page 9.
Mill Consumption Declines in Jul1
The weekly average mill consumption of apparel wool in July was
9,353,000 pounds, scoured basis. This is 11 percent below the record rate
of consumption in June and is the lowest rate reported since Februnary. The
July consumption was 65 percent larger, however, than in July 1940. The
holiday period and labor difficulties probably were responsible in large
part for the decline from the rate maintained in preceding months. Con-
sumption of apparel wool on a scoured. basis in the first 7 months of 1.941
was almost twice as large as in the same months of 1940 and was the largest
on record for the industry. Consumption on.a greasy shorn and pulled basis
from January through July totaled 549 million pounds compared with 299
million pounds in the same months last year.
Mill consumption of carpet wool also declined in July but was almost
twice as large as in July 1940. Consumption of carpet wool on a scoured
basis in the first 7 months of this year amounted to 79 million pounds
compared with 53 million pounds for the same months last year. Consuw.tion
so far this year has been larger than in the corresponding period of any
recent year with the possible exception of 1937.
Imports Increase in June
Imports for consumption of apparel wool in June totaling 62 million
pounds were 5 million pounds larger than in May but were smaller than the
near-record imports of 72.3 million pounds in April. In the first 6 months
of 1941 imports fcr-consumption amounted to 348 million pounds compared
with 98 million pounds in the first half of 1940.
General imports of apparel wool (entries for immediate consumption
and into bonded warehouses) totaled 471 million pounds in the first half
of 1941. This total includes Australian wool imported for British account
and held for reserves. Figures on imports for consumption, of course, do
not include wool imported for British account. Receipts of British-owned
Australian wool for reserve stocks amouni-d. to about 64 million pounds in
the first half of 1941.
Receipts of foreign apparel wool at three ports, Boston, New York,
and Philadelphia, continued relatively large in July and Augast. But the
weekly rate of receipts in July and August was considerably smaller than
the average weekly rate in the first half of the year.
Imports of carpet wool for consumption totaled 22.4 million pounds
in June, nearly three tines as much as in June 1940. In the first half
of 1941 imports of carpet wool for consumption were 119.2 million pounds
compared with 80.7 million pounds imported in the first half of 1940.
South America Exports
During the first 10 months (October-July) of the current season
exports of wool from Argentina and Uruguay totaled 526 million pounds, the
largest total in many years. About 85 percent of the exports were to the
United States. In 1934-38 about 15 percent of shipments went to the United
- 5 -
States. Other countries taking an c.poreciable quantity of wool from
Argentina and Ur'iguiy this season are Japan, Russia, and Sweden, with
more than normal purchases, and the United Kirgaom, which has taken only
a fraction of the quantity usually purchased in South America. Total ex-
ports and.exports to the United States from Argentina and Ur+.r-u y in the
first 10 months of the season with comparisons are shown in the -ccompnny-
Prices of South American wools were relatively low in the early fall
of 1940, and the spread between prices of United States and South American
wools was wide. The strong demand from United States buyers after the
opening of the 1940-41 season was accompanied by a steady increase in prices
of fine and medium wools in South .%i crican markets. The spread between
United St:tes and South American wools declined rapidly but because of the
relatively small supplies available in the United States, purchases of wool
by United States buyers continued large through the 1940-41 season.
Prices of wools at Boston and at Montevideo and the spread between
these prices in the active selling season at Montevideo are shown on page 11.
Exports of wool from Argentina and Uruguay in the first 10
months (October-July) of the export season, 1934-40 1/
Period : : :
brin- Ar- ntina U ruguay To countries
begin- : r n n
ning : United : : United : : United :
Oct. 1 : States 2/: Totl : States : Total : States : Totrl
: Million Million Million Million Million Million
: pounds pounds p :'LS pounds pounds pruind
1934 : 35.0 285.5 2.9 104.3 37.9 389.8
1935 : 48.0 258.g 22.8 107.6 70.8 366.4
1936 : 75.6 281.9 26.8 118.8 102.4 400.7
1937 : 13.7 240.7 0.8 78.7 14.5 319.4
1938 : 57.5 332.1 11.6 11.9 69.1 444.o
average: 46.0 279.8 13.0 104.3 59.0 384.1
1939 : 117.6 257.9 30.5 97.9 148.l 355.8
1940 3/ : 329.9 389.5 116.1 136.2 446.0 525.7
Compiled f-om commercial reports supplied by the Buenos Airez Office of
Foreign Agricultural Relations.
lJ Weight of re-r.-sy, scoured, and skin wool as reported.
Includes small shipments to Canad.a in some years.
BACKGROUID.- Stinulated by large Government orders end in-
creased incomes of consumers, mill consumption of apparel
wool in the United States in early 1941 advanced to the
highest level on record for the industry. Consumption in
the first half of the year was fully twice as large as in
the corresponding months of 1940. The increase in mill con--
sumption in 1940 and 1941 was accompanied by a marked increase
in wool prices. Prices received by farmers for wool shorn
this year were 25 to 30 percent higher than a year earlier
and were the highest in at le.ct 12 years.
The marked increase in consumption resulted in rapid
deplo'ion of stocks of domestic wool, and imports increased
to record levels in the early part of 1941.
In the first 7 months of 1941 the average monthly mill consumption
of apparel wool was about 78 million pounds, greasy shorn and pulled. With
unfilled orders for wool cloth in August the largest on record forthe
industry, rnd with additional Army orders announced for award in September,
it seems probable that mill consumption will be maintained at this rate or
higher during the remainder of 1941. This indicates a total consumption
for 1941 of more than 900 million pounds, grease basis.
The weekly average rate of consumption in July was slightly below
the average for the first 6 months of this year and was the lowest rate
reported since February. The decline in July was in part seasonal, but it
probably was due in part to strikes in some sections of the wool manuiac-
turing industry. Reports indicate that labor disputes also prevailed in
some mills in August. Even at the lower rate of consumption reported in
July, consumption for the year would exceed 900 million pounds.
Wool Supplies and Imports
Imports of wool were of record proportion in the early months of
1941. Although mill consumption of wool in the first 7 months of this year
was about twice as large as in the same months of 1940, total supplies of
apparel wool on hand in the United States on August 1, including 1941 do-
mestic production, probably were about 100 million pounds larger than a
year earlier. But supplies were notlarge in relation to the current rate
of mill consumption.
Allowing for minimum carry-over stocks of 200 million pounds, the
total supplies on hand on August 1 were equal to about a 5 months' supply
at the current rate of mill consumption, that is, to January 1, 1942. The
supply is being supplemented by current imports but the current rate of
import is much smaller than in the first half of the year, and no additional
supplies of domestic wool will be available for mill uso much before June
1942. In view of these factors, together with requirements for building
up reserve supplies of wool in the United States, imports are likely to
increase in the late fall and winter when the 1941-42 clip becomes avail-
able in the Southern Hemisphere,
Smaller Supplies in Prospect for 1941-42
in Argentina and Uruguay
Early irnlcatioi's are that production in Argentina and Uru-uay in
1941-42 wi L'. nuJ. differ greatly from that of the current season estimated
at about 50j million pounds,
As a result of the strong demand from United States buyers, supplies
of the current season L_7o been largely disposed of and the carry-orer on
October 1. 1941 will be much smaller than a year earlier. Carry-over stocks
in Argentina anuJ Uruguay on October 1 last year totaled about 110 million
pounds and wore hea largest in recent years. Wool brAk-rs in Montevideo
estimated that there were not more than 5 million pounds of wool left for
sale in that market at the end of July 1941; an additional 2 million pounds
already sold were awaiting shipment. Stocks of merino and fine crossbred
wools in the Buenos Ai2es market were said to be p-actically exhausted at
the beginning of August, and small remaining lots of second clip carpet wools
were moving rapidly.
With little change in production in prospect and with carry-over
stocks much smaller than a year earlier, total supplies available for ex-
port in 1941-4'2 will be considerably smaller than the 565 million pounds
estimated for the current season, and supplies are likely to be smaller
than'the 5-ycar average (1935-36 1939-40).
Mill consumption of wool in Argentina has increased steadily in
recent years and the restriction of European trade has provided an addi-
tional stimulus to domestic nmnufacture. Consumption in 1940-41 was esti-
mated at 66 million pound. 1 111 consumption in Uruguay also has increased
but the consumption is rclati:ely small, probably amounting to 8-10 million
pounds at the present time.
Other Southern Hemisphere Supplies
Supplies of wool a-railable in Australia and South Africa in the
1941-42 season probably vill be relatively large. But this wool has been
purchased by the United Kinglonm and is released by the British Wool Control
under strict regulation of destination and prices. Further extension of
the war might increase shipping difficulties in those countries in coming
Unfilled orders for woven cloth reported by 119 mills,
beginning of each quarter, 1938-41 1/
* Men s wear
beginning : Govern- Other
S ment :
? 1, 000 1,000
l linear linear
: SS-. yards
July 3/ ..
+,l-h r 5
1,000 1,000 1,000
linear linear linear
yards yad-s yards
Compiled from Monthly Statistics of Wool Manufacture, published by the
National Association of Wool Mranufacturers. Statistics are for cloth con-
taining by weight over 25 percent of yarns spun on the woolen and worsted
system. Cloth less than 50 inches wide reported in equivalent 54-inch yardage,
1/ Reports are for specified dates, near the beginning of each quarter.
21 Excludes cloth with pile or jacquard design,
Ju June 28.
- 9 -
- 10 -
United States: Wool imports, consumption, and machinery
activity, selected periods, 1939-41
Item : Year : Ji-L..'u.yJure June : May : June
______1939 : 1940 :1940 : 1941 : 1040 : 9l :1941 I
S1,000 1,000 1000 000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Imports for consumption, : pouds pounds Dponds pounds pounds L Ards pounds
actual weight: 2/
Apparel ...... ... ......: 98,194 222,983 98,052 347,806 10,566 56,949 61,98
Finer than 40s ........ 74,612 199,149 87,157323,328 9,053 53,1- 56,293
Not finer than 40s .,..: 23,582 23,834 10,895 24,478 1.513 3,785 5,695
camels hair ,,......: 144,875 134.691 s0.661 119.166 7.760 17.572 22,416
S Year : JanuaryTJuly : July : June : July
: 1939 : 1940 : 1940 : 1941 : 1i4o : 1941 : 1941
Mll. consumption 3/
Grease basis 4 :
Apparel ...........6,,: 630,150 640,871
Carpet ... .... : 148,513 137,494
Scoured basis -
Apparel .............,: 293,083 310,021 149,540 292,442 2S,431 41,903 46,765
Carpet ..............: 103,421 97,852 52,628 78,556 6,o61 11,172 11,320
Weekly average -
Apparel ..............: 5,636 5,962 4,824 9,434 5,6s6 10,476 9,353
Carpet ...... .......: 1 199 8 .698 2.544 1.212 2.793 2,264
Weekly average in hours
Machinery activity: I :
Hours operated per
machine in place -
Worsted combs .........:
Worsted spindles .....
Woolen spindles .......:
Woolen and worsted
Carpet and rug looms -
Import figures from the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. Consumption and
machinery activity from the Bureau of the Census.
SJuly imports not yet available,
SWeight of greasy, scoured, and skin wool added together.
Figures for June based on 4 weeks, July on 5 weeks, Januanry-July on 31 weeks.
No adjustments made for holidays.
4/ Total of shorn and pulled wool, Pulled wool, grease basis, is in condition
received from pulleries and is mostly washed,
- 11 -
Prices per pound, grease basis, of domestic and Uruguay
medium wools, and. spread between these prices 1939-)41
Season : Bosn : : At Boston
and : Spread : Dometic : Uru ay Spread
month : : -7 ,
: :ts Cents Cents Cents Cents Cents
Oct. 4s.s 38,5 10.3
Nov. 47.0 37.5 9.5
Dec. : 46,0 24.9 21.1 46.0 34.5 11.5
Jan. : 44.6 25.3 19.3 44.5 34.3 10.2
Feb. : 42.4 2.g 13,6 42.4 35.5 6.9
Mar : 38.5 29.6 8.9 38.5 35.5 3.0
Apr. : 36.1 33.0 3.1
May 37.1 33.0 4.1
June : 39.5 33.0 6.5
July : 39.5 29.5 -10.0,
Aug. :39.5 28,8 10.7
Sept. I41.2 28.8 12.4
Oct : 45.0 25.9 19.1 45.0 31.5 13.5
Nov. 46.4 28.2 13.2 46.4 32.5 13.9
Dec. : 45.2 29.0 15.2 45.2 33.5 11.7
Jan. : 44.8 29.9 14.9 44.8 33.5 11.3
Feb. : 44.o. -31.-41...-.. 12,6 _.0 .....-35.8-----. .2.
Mar, : 44.0 31.6 12.4 44.0 36.7 7.3
Apr. 44.8 31.6 13.2 44.8 37.4 7.4
May : 46.1 37.8 8.3
June 46.8 39.5 7.3
July : 46.4 39.5 6.9
Aug. : 45.6 39.5 6,1
Compiled as follows: Prices of domestic wool at Boston from reports of
the Agricultural Maikoting Service. Prices of Uruguay (Montevideo) wool
in bond at Boston from the Boston Commercial Bulletin, Prices at Montevideo
from Revista Semanal, Camara Mercantil de Productos del Pais Montevideo,
All prices are averages of weekly range quotations. Statistics for 1936-39
were published in The Wool Situation for October.1940,
1/ Average of domestic 3/8 and 1/4 blood combing, bright fleece wools.
g/ Uruguay fine crossbreds, superior.
3/ Domestic 3/8 blood combing, bright fleece wools,
SMontevideo Is (56s) in bond (before payment of duty).
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
II IIIII IIII II I III IIII111
3 1262 08861 5694
Prices of wool per pouMi in specified markets, and prices of ttilo
raw materials in the United States, selected periods, 1939-41
S- ;: T H i g.h : J iig 1 .
Market and do ion -7 : 193Hg 19_ h uy :
United States: :C Cent3 Cns Cnts Cents 0s C e Cel S
Territory, scoured basis-
64s, 70s, SOs (fine)
s (3/8 blood) o-'L -'ng .
46s (low 1/4 olood) .....
SriCgh flecoce. -;c.ay-.
64s, 70s, 80s (fine)
56s (3/8 blood) combing .
46s (low 1/4 blood) .....:
Foreign wool in bond at
Sydne;- scoured basis
64s, 70s, combing ......
Cape scoured basis
12 months, combing ,,,,
Montevid.eo grease basis:
Merinos (6C-b4s) ......
is (56s) ..............:
Prices received by farmers, I
grease basis, 15th of month:
Wool, territory fine
staple J/ ...........
Cotton, 15/16" Mi7llinr / :
Silk, Japanese oj ,...o....
Rayon yarn, )0O denior JJ ,.
Rayon staple fiber
Viscose 1-1/2 denier .,...o
Acetato 5 denier ,...,,..:
67.9 79,2 63.5 74.0 72.8 70.8
62.9 73,8 61.0 72.5 71.1 68.8
36.5 26.8 41,o0 4.o 41.o
38.5 28.8 39.5 39.5 39.5;
28,7 27.3 36.5 36.3 35.7
95.3 109.5 89.0 107.0 107.0 107,0
10.17 10.84 9.91 13.79 15.58 16.14
278.1 392.1 252.9 301.9 304.9 308.0
53.0 53.0 53.0 53.0 53.0 53.0
25.0 25,0 25,0 25.0 25.0 25.0
43.0 46.o 43.0 3.43 .3.0 43.0
Compiled from reports of the Agricultural Markcting Service except as otherwise
1 Highest monthly average price.
SBefore payment of duty, Compiled from the Boston Commercial Bulletin,
SScoured basis, Boston market,
SAverage at ten markets,
J White, 13-15 denier, at New York, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
7 Domestic yarn, first quality, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
F.o.b. producing plants, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- 12 -
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