For the first time since the early 1980s wool prices are back up for WV farmers. Yesterday, the wool clip from West Virginia was sold to Chargeurs Wool-USA, a French company and last major wool processor in the U.S. The WV wool pools (pick up) will be held in June. The pools support approximately 430 shepherds across the state.
Eighty-five thousands pounds were sold and will be shipped to Jamestown, South Carolina at the higher-than-average price of $1.60 cleaned, per pound. Taking into account that the wool yields approximately 58 percent grease, the price is then $0.93 cents. The farmer will receive an estimated $0.73 per pound, after subtracting shipping/trucking costs and local and state pool expenses (depending on their actual local expenses).
The last time wool prices were that high in WV was 1983 at the price of $0.998. However, in the 1930’s and 40’s wool frequently brought more than a dollar a pound, leaving the farmer with a significant return.
West Virginia is the only state-wide, value based wool pool in the United States. If you’re interested in entering an area wool pool, contact your local county Extension Agent or call the WV Small Farm Center at 304-293-2642.
Chargeurs Wool specializes in topmaking, which consists in designing wool blends that successfully meet the needs of the spinning mills. It is a world leader in combed wool sales. Chargeurs is a global, diversified group with leadership positions in niche markets, both in manufacturing and in services. It is currently active in surface protection, through Chargeurs Protective Films, technical textiles, through Chargeurs Interlining, and raw material processing, through Chargeurs Wool. In 2010, consolidated sales totaled € 512 million, of which approximately 94% is generated outside France. Chargeurs is active on 34 different countries with 2,243 employees.
Chargeurs Wool USA Inc, 178 Wool Rd, Jamestown, SC. Tel: 843-257-2212.