China buying skins29 November 2004
Prices of Australian woolskins remain high as Chinese tanners buy available stocks and the continuing drought has depleted numbers. According to John Gorman, president, Australian Hide, Skin and Leather Exporters Association (AHSLEA), the country has endured five years of dry conditions with a dramatic effect on the national flock numbers. 'The sheep population in Australia now stands at around 92 million head. This is the lowest figure for 55 years and it will be at least two years before stock numbers begin to recover', he said. Australian hide and skin exporters have reported record sales this year with the bulk of skins being shipped to tanners in China. Other significant markets include Türkiye and eastern Europe. 'We have seen Chinese producers buying all types of sheep and lambskins both at high and low qualities', says John Gorman.