Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

War Economy

Disposal of Wool Stocks

Disposal of Wool Stocks

The problem for wool was to dispose of accumulated stocks without disrupting the market for the annual clip. At the end of the war it was estimated that this might take thirteen years. A contemporary statement summed up the situation:2

‘Wool is in a state of transition. A controlling company in which the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa participate—the U.K. – Dominion Wool Disposal Ltd—has commenced operations as owners of a surplus, estimated at ten million bales, or two years’ normal supply from the Dominions, accumulated from British Government purchases during the war.

‘Auction sales will recommence later this year, at which the Company will ensure maximum and minimum prices by buying in wools or releasing additional offerings from its own stocks, so as to provide orderly and progressive marketing of the surplus along with current annual clips without detriment to the value of either, or to the manufacturer. Good quality wools are not expected to sell for less than prevailing prices.’

In New Zealand, a Wool Disposal Commission operated in conjunction with similar authorities in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia. Wool was sold by auction, starting with page 526 the 1946–47 season, but reserve prices were set and the Commission would buy in, if they were not met.

World consumption of wool increased faster than was expected; the Commonwealth surplus of 10 million bales was sold profitably at the rate of about 2 million bales a year. By July 1951 all but 4500 bales of the New Zealand accumulation of 1,777,000 bales was disposed of; the balance was sold at the United Kingdom auctions early in 1952.1

2 Annual Report of the National Bank of New Zealand, Ltd., 31 March 1946.

1 New Zealand Official Yearbook, 1954, p. 442. New Zealand received half the profits on disposal of the New Zealand surplus. See also p. 561.