Saturday 12 October 2019

Cape Wool Export

CAPE TIMES - 1924, April 8
On a business and pleasure trip, Mr. JM Gilfillan, of Gilfillan & Page Ltd., a big London firm of wool importers, arrived by the Armadale Castle yesterday. Interviewed by a representative of the “Cape Times” on the wool position in Europe, Mr. Gilfillan said that all grades of wool were in a strong future; while the financial position of the wool trade, about which fears were entertained in the latter part of last year, no longer gave rise for any uneasiness. In spite of the high prices now being paid for all classes of wool traders and manufacturers seemed well able to finance their obligations. “During the past season,” he continued, “a fair quantity of better class Cape wools have been catalogued at the London auction sales, and these have commanded high prices. The grading and breeding of your wools of late years, I must say, mark a noticeable advance; and it is quite evident that if the farmers continue to put back into bloodstock a proportion of the high prices they are getting, then the prestige of South African wool on the European markets will indeed rise to a very high point.”
Asked with regard to the position of Germany as a buyer, Mr. Gilfillan replied that economic conditions in that country had become much more settled since the advent of the Renten mark; and although everything at present was excessively dear, the uncertainty brought about by the wild fluctuations of the old Reichsmark was disappearing; and trade was assuming more normal conditions.
Nevertheless, he added, the great bulk of German traders and manufacturers had not yet regained full confidence in the new currency, for Amsterdam and London still held in their respective currencies a vast proportion of Germany’s trading capital.
“For wool in particular,” continued Mr. Gilfillan, “the German demand is enormous, particularly in the classes produced by South Africa and Australia, which are the most suitable for their trade. For these wools, all through last season, they have been paying enormous prices, defying all competition from France and Bradford, paying cash down in English money, and wanting to keep their mills running. Nobody can stand up against them.”

At a Wool Sale in Cape Town in October 1939, 3 312 bales were offered. Mr. W. Young, chairman of the Cape Town Wool Exchange, stated that the market was firmer and the competition keener, especially from American and Japanese interests.
(CAPE ARGUS - 1939, October 30) 

Read more about the crisis Wool Producers had to face earlier this year, and how this problem has been solved.

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