THE Eastern Cape wool industry received a massive boost when kid mohair fetched a world record price of more than R600/kg at the season’s final auction this week.
The previous record was set four years ago.
Brokers Cape Mohair and Wool (CMW) viewed the season as one of the more successful, capable of attracting more international buyers in the future.
Three bales of kid mohair, considered to be among the best in the world, came under the hammer and attracted big bids.
The first bale – each averaging 80kg – fetched R601/kg, while the other two sold for R560/kg – totalling more than R150000.
The producers of the record- breaking mohair are Willowmore couple Billy and Fred Colborne, who also set the previous record of R425/kg in 2009.
More than 700 bales of wool were auctioned in total, making it one of the best seasons for the province’s wool producers and buyers since the effects of the global recession were felt.
With stiff competition among local and international buyers, the Port Elizabeth-based natural fibre processors and traders, Stucken Group, emerged the highest bidders, buying all three bales.
CMW general manager Pierre van der Vyver said the record price was “way beyond our expectation”.
“This has been an exceptional season, especially for kid mohair.
“This was the best production [of kid mohair] and we would not be surprised if we get voted as having the best in the world.”
Van der Vyver said South Africa was the world leader in mohair production, with each season breaking record after record in sales.
One of the main reasons for the hike in wool prices was the increasing demand for natural fibres, he said.
“People are moving away from synthetic fibres and going natural because of the focus on going green. People are now far more conscious than they were in the past, especially rich people.”
All the record-breaking bales will be entered into a competition for the best kid mohair in the world. The competition will be sponsored by Italian fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna.
Van der Vyver said it was “more than likely” that one of the three bales would win.