Wednesday December 13, 2017   CCWG branch locations across Canada  *   Carleton Place, ON  1-800-488-2714   *   Cookstown, ON  1-866-458-4800   *   Lethbridge, AB (MB to BC)  1-800-567-3693   *   Saint-Hyacinthe, QC  1-888-796-4242
 


The co-operative grades and
markets close to 3 million
pounds of raw wool each year;
the majority of this coming from
Québec, Ontario and Alberta.

Each of the three general
classes of wool
(fine, medium and coarse)
are sold wherever the
best prices are available.

 

Download your copy today for a better return $$ 
on your 
wool clip.

Guide for the care & handling of your wool clip

Printed copies also available upon request.

 

 

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CCWG Wool Market and Business Update – Fall 2017

2016/17 Wool Market Update

During the 2016/17 wool marketing season there has been a very significant contrast comparing the fine and coarse wool markets. Fine wool has experienced solid global demand and record prices have been achieved for many wool types 22 micron and finer.  A number of factors can be attributed to this success including the positive international branding of Merino wool.  As well, new and innovative wool products such as double faced and fake fur fabrics being manufactured in China have created new consumers for wool and these products require significant quantities of fine wool to produce.  
The specifications for Chinese government uniforms including military, railway and postal etc have recently been changed to favour more fine wool content and huge quantities of wool are required for these contracts.  In China mills are currently focused on increasing productivity and product quality, they have also made significant capital investment in order to comply with new stringent government environmental regulations. 

The broader crossbred wool market has struggled the past 18 months and to this point in time has not been able to ride the coat tails of the rising fine wool market.  The main driver of price trends continues to be China, which in 2016/17 accounted for 63% of exports from the five major wool exporting countries.  Excess stocks of coarse wool products that had built up in China throughout the supply chain, from greasy wool through to finished fabric are slowly being consumed.  Current projections are a little more positive with predictions that demand and market prices for crossbred wool will soon start to improve.

The wool trade seems to be firmly committed to the need for further industry programs within the education, promotion and innovation fields.  The International Campaign for Wool is an excellent example of collaboration between all members of the supply chain including farmers, retailers, designers, manufacturers and consumers.  The objective of this organization is to promote the incredible benefits and versatility of wool which in turn supports many small businesses and farmers whose livelihoods depends on the wool industry.  The Dumfries House Wool Declaration is a 10 point declaration that has been developed whereby the global wool industry commits to protect the environment, to care about the welfare of sheep and to uphold the best possible practices in growing, trading, manufacturing and marketing wool fiber and its related textiles. 

In Canada our wool volume has slipped after many years of marginal growth, we hope that this is only a temporary situation.  This can be directly attributed to lower sheep numbers which may be mainly due to drought conditions and expensive feed in some provinces the previous year.  We continue our practice of orderly wool marketing throughout the year of our graded, value added, and objectively measured wool types.  Due to the recent weaker demand from China for coarser wool types we have reached out to develop new market opportunities for Canadian wool in Europe and the Middle East.  In addition to our wool sales in Canada, export destinations for Canadian wool currently include China, USA, Czech Republic, Egypt, Bulgaria and India.  Canadian wool enjoys an excellent reputation in these markets due to our consistent quality deliveries which is a credit to our wool grading staff.  Our Shareholder Wool Shipper Loyalty Reward Program (SWSLRP) continues again this year at the rate of 7 cents per pound to our shareholder / wool shipper consigners.  The annual dividend will be 7% for shareholders of record date December 31, 2016.

In September I again travelled to China along with Ontario Board member Gary Fox to participate in the Nanjing Wool Market Conference and International Trade Fair. Over 600 delegates participated which gave us an excellent opportunity to display Canadian Wool to the global wool trade.  Prior to the conference we travelled with our agent and visited numerous customers, successfully selling several containers of graded Canadian wool for prompt and forward shipment.

 

Retail Business

The retail division of CCWG continues to be a cornerstone of our business and now accounts for approximately 70% of our sales revenue.  It has been a good marriage between our wool and retail business since we began this diversification strategy a number of years ago.  Very positive results have enabled the company to record a profit that is ultimately used to grow our business and finance capital assets.  It is a testament to our staff ability and effort when you consider the highly competitive consumer market place that we operate within for both livestock supplies and clothing.  New product research and development along with improved website and ecommerce platforms are ongoing initiatives that we are committed to implementing.  In our livestock supplies division we currently face a situation whereby numerous pharmaceutical items are becoming restricted for veterinary only distribution.  This will be a challenge for our company to find replacement products and we will have to adapt to changing times.  I have no doubt that our management team are up to the task at hand and will find solutions to ensure our continued success.  The staff profit sharing plan that the company developed several years ago continues to achieve the desired results.  It instills a sense of ownership with our employees who can control their own destiny with the right effort and attitude.  Our objective has always been to create a positive working environment and to supply all the necessary tools so that success can be achieved with the appropriate performance.  Offering excellent customer service and going the extra mile is how we separate our business from the competition.  In any event, we are proving with this business model that everyone wins – our customers, the employee’s and the company.

Earlier today we celebrated the official grand opening of our new facility in Broxburn Business Park, Lethbridge County.  Our old property at 918-1st Avenue South in Lethbridge which has been sold had served us well since 1950, but the time was right to explore new opportunities.  We are really excited about growing our business in this new environment and our Lethbridge team is eager to get the job done at the earliest opportunity.  Expectations are high and we wish them every success.  

From a financial point of view we are pleased to report that the company has no debt on our balance sheet for any of the capital projects that have been undertaken and completed in recent years.  In addition to the Lethbridge project some of these include store renovations at Premier Choix Agricole, Real Wool Shop, CCWG Livestock Supplies and Equestrian Centre, and our satellite store at Kitchener/Waterloo.  A new storage warehouse was built at Carleton Place about five years to accommodate graded wool bales and our expanding Livestock Supplies business.  This has been achieved by making carefully calculated business decisions and adhering to a disciplined financial plan.  

Our sincere thanks again to all CCWG staff and directors for your efforts that are contributing to the success of our organization.  In 2018 we look forward to reaching a major milestone, 100 years in business and we thank our many loyal customers for their continued patronage.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Eric Bjergso
General Manager

  << download full report with pictures  

 

CCWG Update – Fall 2016

International Wool Market 

As the 2016 wool marketing year has progressed, conditions have not been as positive as we would have hoped when compared to the past couple of years.  The main driver accounting for this situation is that China’s imports of greasy and semi-processed wool have dropped significantly in 2016 because mills are holding higher than usual inventories.

Fine wools have been less affected by this market situation, crossbred wools in the range of 26 to 35 micron have had the greatest exposure.  There is excess stock in China of products made from this micron range which includes wool top, yarn and fabric. Until these stocks are reduced it is unlikely that there will be any upward movement in the wool market for the remainder of this year and possibly well into 2017.

On a positive note, the Chinese government are in the process of replacing uniforms for railway, postal, military personnel etc.  These uniforms contain up to 80% wool content, but again the finer micron wools will benefit most from this procurement.  Global wool production remains stable in most major wool producing countries.  Australia has experienced much improved seasonal conditions with wide spread rain in many regions that had previously been in drought for up to four years.

This past September I once again participated in the 28th Nanjing Wool Marketing Conference which was held in Wuxi, China.  Over 500 delegates from the Chinese and International wool trade attended.  There was a lot of interest in our Canadian wool trade show booth.  This venue has always proven to be an excellent opportunity to promote Canadian wool.  As well, I visited a number of mills with our agents and was able to conclude some business, we have a number of other sales pending.

Domestic Wool Market / Retail Business

In terms of the 2016 Canadian wool clip we are approximately 70% sold at the time of this writing.  Our wool volume is stable in 2016 but the drought this past summer in Eastern Canada will likely have an impact with less ewe numbers to be shorn in 2017.  The relocation of our Lethbridge branch to Broxburn Park is off to a slower than expected start, but it is now well underway with all approvals and permits now received.  We are very excited about this project and the prospects of developing new business opportunities in Western Canada.

I am pleased to report that our retail livestock supplies and clothing business are on target to meet or exceed budget expectations for the fiscal year ending February 28, 2017.

Thank you to all CCWG staff and directors for contributing to the continued success of our organization.

 

Yours truly,

Eric Bjergso, General Manager 
ericb@wool.ca  www.wool.ca

 << Download the full report and photos

 

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