Wool Industry Statistics: 87+ Insights, Stats, Trends, Data 2023

By Jodie Morgan

| Updated:

This is a complete list of up-to-date Wool Industry statistics. Discover everything you need to know about the global wool industry – essential info, growth figures, revenue, the international wool market share, demographics, data, facts, insights, and more in this wool outlook market report!

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Here’s a breakdown of everything you can access on this added-to and updated page of wool statistics and wool markets:

Table Of Contents

Top 10 Statistics About Wool In 2023

Here are the most interesting wool industry statistics and insights for 2023.

  1. The search interest in knitting dips and soars because it’s seasonal.
  2. New Zealand is the country where knitting is the most popular.
  3. There are approx 60,000 wool growers in Australia.
  4. Over the past fifteen years (2008-2023) knitting has experienced a 238% increase in growth on the internet.
  5. Knitting is most popular among people aged 25-34 years old.
  6. China imported $125.49M USD of raw wool from New Zealand in 2021 according to the United Nations COMTRADE database.
  7. In 2020, 8 million pounds of US wool was exported.
  8. Australia is the largest producer of wool in the world. They have an estimated wool sheep population of 104.29 million!
  9. The wool market size was approx USD 33 billion in 2019.
  10. On average, Australia produces 280 million kilograms of wool in a year. The merino market produced around 276 metric tons in 2020.

Access Wool Industry & Wool Markets Search Insights, Figures, Information & Wool Statistics

Here’s everything you need to know about the market’s forecast trend, historical trend, and insights.

Google Trends – Global Web Search Interest Over Time (2004 – 2023)

Google Trends Search Interest In Wool

In Nov 2017, it experienced a surge of popularity. In Dec 2022, it reached its peak.

Google Trends – Global Image Search Interest Over Time (2008 – 2023)

Google Trends Image Search Interest In Wool

In Dec 2017, it experienced a surge of popularity. In Dec 2019, it reached its peak.

Google Trends – Global YouTube Search Interest Over Time (2008 – 2023)

Google Trends YouTube Search Interest In Wool

In, it experienced a surge of popularity. In, it reached its peak.

Google Trends – Global Search Interest By Region

Global Search Interest In Wool

The countries highlighted in the darkest shade of blue are the ones where it’s most popular, and the ones in gray show where there’s not enough data to record.

Here are the top 15 countries.

  1. New Zealand
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Australia
  4. Ireland
  5. Canada
  6. United States
  7. South Africa
  8. Nigeria
  9. Norway
  10. Denmark
  11. Finland
  12. Singapore
  13. Sri Lanka
  14. Sweden
  15. Pakistan

Google Trends – USA Search Interest By Region

USA Search Interest In Wool - USA States in different colors of blue depicting amount of interest in wool

The darker the blue color of the state, the more common the search term is.

Here are the top 10 states.

  1. Vermont
  2. Montana
  3. Maine
  4. Alaska
  5. Wyoming
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Oregon
  8. Washington
  9. Idaho
  10. Minnesota

Google Trends – Related Search Terms

Most Popular Related Search Terms To Wool

Here are the top 5 related search terms.

  1. Wool And The Gang
  2. Paloma Wool
  3. Merino Wool Sweater
  4. Brazilian Wool
  5. Wool Shop Near Me

Global Search Interest Growth Over The Past 15 Years (2008-2023)

Search Interest Growth In Wool Over The Last 15 Years

Over the past fifteen years (2008-2023) it has experienced a 238% increase in growth.

Global Search Interest Growth Over The Past 10 Years (2013-2023)

Search Interest Growth In Wool Over The Last 10 Years

Over the past ten years (2013-2023) it has experienced a 129% increase in growth.

Global Search Interest Growth Over The Past 5 Years (2019-2023)

Search Interest Growth In Wool Over The Last 5 Years

Over the past five years (2019-2023) it has experienced a 24% increase in growth.

Global Search Interest Growth Over The Past 2 Years (2021-2023)

Search Interest Growth In Wool Over The Last 2 Years

Over the past two years (2021-2023) it has experienced a 20% increase in growth.

Global Search Interest Growth Over The Past Year (2022-2023)

Search Interest Growth In Wool Over The Last Year

Over the past year (2022-2023) it has experienced a 4% decrease in growth.

Global Search Interest Growth Over The Past 6 Months (Sep 2022-Feb 2023)

Search Interest Growth In Wool Over The Last 6 Months

Over the past six months (Sep 2022-Feb 2023) it has experienced a 17% increase in growth.

Global Search Interest Growth Over The Past 3 Months (Dec 2022-Feb 2023)

Search Interest Growth In Wool Over The Last 3 Months

Over the past three months (Dec 2022-Feb 2023) it has experienced a 31% decrease in growth.

USA Search Interest On Pinterest (2022-2023)

Search Interest In Wool On Pinterest Over The Last Year

Here is the interest in “wool” in the US on Pinterest over the past year (2022-2023).

USA Search Interest On Pinterest (Aug 2022-Feb 2023)

Search Interest In Wool On Pinterest Over The Last 6 Months

Here is the interest in “wool” in the US on Pinterest over the past six months (Aug 2022-Feb 2023).

USA Search Interest On Pinterest (Nov 2022-Feb 2023)

Search Interest In Wool On Pinterest Over The Last 3 Months

Here is the interest in “wool” in the US on Pinterest over the past three months (Nov 2022-Feb 2023).

USA Search Interest On Pinterest By Age Group

Search Interest In Wool On Pinterest By Age Group

Here are the age groups and the percentages of users who search for wool on Pinterest.

  1. 25-34 Years Old – 40%
  2. 18-24 Years Old – 20%
  3. 35-44 Years Old – 17%
  4. 55-64 Years Old – 10%
  5. 65+ Years Old – 6%
  6. 45-59 Years Old – <5%
  7. 50-54 Years Old – <5%

USA Search Interest On Pinterest By Gender

USA Search Interest For Wool On Pinterest By Gender

Here are the genders and the percentages of which make up users who search for yarn on Pinterest.

  1. Women – 74%
  2. Men – 12%
  3. Other – 15%

Pin For Later

Wool Statistics Pin

Global Wool Prices/Price Value – Wool Industry Statistics

Global Price Of Wool 2000 - 2022 ($ USD Per Kilogram)

Here is the estimated global price of fine wool measured in USD per kilogram. All numbers are estimates, and sourced from the release by the International Monetary Fund.

The price varies depending on factors like season, fiber diameter, the type of wool fiber/wool textile, the wool quality (whether its premium), what it’s going to be used for (e.g. fabric/textiles), and market wool demand.

  • 2000 – $7.34 USD per kilogram
  • 2001 – $6.23 USD per kilogram
  • 2002 – $6.45 USD per kilogram
  • 2003 – $7.01 USD per kilogram
  • 2004 – $7.17 USD per kilogram
  • 2005 – $6.77 USD per kilogram
  • 2006 – $7.16 USD per kilogram
  • 2007 – $9.73 USD per kilogram
  • 2008 – $9.68 USD per kilogram
  • 2009 – $7.79 USD per kilogram
  • 2010 – $10.14 USD per kilogram
  • 2011 – $16.38 USD per kilogram
  • 2012 – $13.44 USD per kilogram
  • 2013 – $11.99 USD per kilogram
  • 2014 – $10.76 USD per kilogram
  • 2015 – $10.08 USD per kilogram
  • 2016 – $11.13 USD per kilogram
  • 2017 – $14.35 USD per kilogram
  • 2018 – $16.65 USD per kilogram
  • 2019 – $14.28 USD per kilogram
  • 2020 – $9.77 USD per kilogram
  • 2021 – $12.28 USD per kilogram
  • 2022 – $11.55 USD per kilogram

Wool Export Statistics

Australian Wool Exports

In 2021, Australia exported about 1.9B USD of wool to China. This was more than the amount exported to Italy and India that year. (Statista)

Australian Wool Exports In 2021 By Country ($ Million USD)

Here are the top ten countries Australia exported wool to in 2021 orded by the estimated trade value of the wool.

  1. China – $1,921.6 Million USD
  2. Italy – $129.26 Million USD
  3. India – $94.3 Million USD
  4. Czechia – $67.8 Million USD
  5. South Korea – $42.74 Million USD
  6. Thailand – $15.82 Million USD
  7. Egypt – $12.68 Million USD
  8. UAE – $8.87 Million USD
  9. UK – $8.24 Million USD
  10. Germany – $7.9 Million USD

Other Australian Raw Wool Export Statistics

Australia exported $34.15M USD of wool to South Korea in 2020. (Trading Economics)

(The following statistics are from 2021. All data is approximate, and sourced from the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.)

Wool Imports Statistics

Australian Wool Imports

In 2022, Australia imported the most wool from New Zealand with a trade value of approx $24M USD, with China being the second highest country. (Statista)

Australian Imports Of Wool By Country ($ Million USD)

Here are the top countries Australia imported wool from in 2021, ordered by estimated trade value.

  1. New Zealand – $24.22 Million USD
  2. China – $13.56 Million USD
  3. Italy – $3.7 Million USD
  4. UK – $3.11 Million USD
  5. India – $2.57 Million USD
  6. Portugal – $1.5 Million USD
  7. Thailand – $0.83 Million USD
  8. Indonesia – $0.56 Million USD
  9. Peru – $0.52 Million USD

Chinese Wool Imports

China imported less wool in Dec 2022 than in Nov 2022. The value dropped from 182,971 USD to 151,303 USD. (Trading Economics)

Top Countries China Imports Wool From

Here are the top 10 countries China imports yarn from, based on the estimated value. All data is sourced from reports by Chinese Customs.

  1. Taiwan
  2. United States
  3. Japan
  4. South Korea
  5. Australia
  6. Malaysia
  7. Germany
  8. Russia
  9. Brazil
  10. Vietnam

Other Chinese Raw Wool Import Statistics

  • China imported $125.49M USD of raw wool from New Zealand in 2021 according to the United Nations COMTRADE database. (Trading Economics)

Indian Wool Imports

In 2021, India imported $92.11M USD of unprocessed wool from Australia. Source: United Nations COMTRADE database. (Trading Economics)

Malaysian Wool Imports

In 2020, Malaysia imported $1.6M USD worth of unprocessed wool from Australia, as reported by the United Nations COMTRADE database. (Trading Economics)

Mexican Wool Imports

Mexico imported more unprocessed wool in December 2022, reaching $400k compared to $389k in November. (Trading Economics)

Mexican Imports Of Wool By Year ($ USD)

Here is how much wool was imported into Mexico in 2014-2022.

All numbers are approximate, and are based on reports from the Mexican National Institute of Statistics and Geography.

  • 2014 – $5,408,000 USD
  • 2015 – $8,678,000 USD
  • 2016 – $9,949,000 USD
  • 2017 – $6,386,000 USD
  • 2018 – $6,357,000 USD
  • 2019 – $4,956,000 USD
  • 2020 – $3,221,000 USD
  • 2021 – $4,406,000 USD
  • 2022 – $5,117,000 USD
Top Countries Mexico Imports Wool From

Here are the top ten countries wool was imported into Mexico from ordered by estimated trade value in USD.

  1. United States
  2. China
  3. South Korea
  4. Japan
  5. Germany
  6. Taiwan
  7. Canada
  8. Malaysia
  9. Brazil
  10. Thailand

Wool Production Statistics: Demand From Consumers

Here are statistics and information on the farm to retail for consumers production of wool. The trend of the amount produced, on average, remains constant every year.

Australian Wool Fiber Diameter & Quality Statistics

Wool Diameters Of Wool Produced In Australia (Micron Bands)

Here are the trends of the diameter of wool produced in Australia 2000-2020 measured in micron bands. (These refer to the range of fiber diameters within a fleece.)

All data are estimates, and sourced from reports by the Australian Wool Testing Authority.

Wool Produced In Australia (1991-2006)

Here’s the wool production in Australia from 1991-2006 as reported by Australian Wool Innovation.

YearOpening Sheep (million)Sheep Shorn (million)Average Cut/Head (kg)Shorn Wool (mkg greasy)
1991-92163.1180.94.43801
1992-93148.1178.84.56815
1993-94138.0172.84.49775
1994-95132.5156.24.37682
1995-96120.8145.64.50655
1996-97121.0152.04.35661
1997-98120.1150.04.22633
1998-99117.4153.64.33665
1999-00115.4144.24.30619
2000-01118.5139.54.31602
2001-02110.8118.64.68555
2002-03106.1116.64.28499
2003-0499.2104.74.53475
2004-05101.2106.04.49475
2005-06101.1106.54.33461
Wool Produced In Australia (2006-2022)

Here’s the wool production in Australia from 2006-2022 as sourced from the Australian Wool Innovation.

YearOpening Sheep (million)Sheep Shorn (million)Average Cut/Head (kg)Shorn Wool (mkg greasy)
2006-0791.0101.44.24430
2007-0885.790.24.43400
2008-0976.979.34.52362
2009-1072.776.24.50343
2010-1170.876.24.53345
2011-1273.176.44.48342
2012-1374.778.84.47352
2013-1475.578.04.37341
2014-1572.676.94.50346
2015-1670.973.44.43325
2016-1771.974.34.58340
2017-1874.776.84.45341
2018-1973.872.54.13300
2019-2068.768.64.13284
2020-2166.466.94.40294
2021-2266.769.04.54314

Merino Wool Production

The global merino wool industry produced 276,000 metric tons in 2020. (EMR)

Brazilian Wool Production

Brazil produced 8,300 metric tons of wool in 2021, 4% more than 2020. However, it’s still less compared to 2013 when they produced 12,000+ tons. (Statista)

FAQS About The Wool Industry

Is Wool Difficult To Produce?

Yes, wool is difficult to produce, because of the complex process involved in raising sheep, and the labor-intensive nature of processing wool fibers into textile.

How Many Months Does It Take A Sheep To Grow Wool?

Sheep typically grow wool at a rate of 1/2 to 3/4 inch per month, although this varies depending on the breed of sheep, nutrition, and environment.

What Month Are Sheep Sheared?

Sheep are usually sheared in the month of March to May.

How Do Farmers Shear Sheep?

Farmers shear sheep by using manual or electric shears.

What’s The Difference Between Wool And Wool Yarn?

The difference between wool and wool yarn is one is a fiber and the other is a product made from that fiber.

Is Selling Wool Profitable?

Yes, selling wool is profitable.

How Is Wool Sold In The Market?

Wool is sold in the agriculture markets by wool auctions, private sales and in online marketplaces.

What’s The Cheapest Type Of Wool?

The cheapest type of wool are Lincoln, Romney, and Border Leicester.

Does Wool Breathe When Wet?

Yes, wool breathes when wet.

What’s The Strength Of Wool?

The strength of wool is super durable.

How Much Is 1kg Of Wool?

The average price for 1kg of wool is 10-50 USD.

How Many Times A Year Can You Shear Sheep?

You can shear a sheep 1-2 times a year.

When Did The Wool Industry Peak?

The wool industry peaked in the mid-20th century.

Why’s It So Hard To Find 100% Wool?

It’s hard to find 100% wool because it’s more expensive to produce than blends.

Is There A Shortage Of Wool In The World?

No, there isn’t a shortage of wool in the world because global wool production has been increasing steadily each year, as has the demand for it.

Who’s The Biggest Importer Of Australian Wool?

The biggest importer of Australian wool is China.

Which Country Is Asia’s Biggest Wool Market?

China is Asia’s biggest wool market.

What 3 Countries Are Known For Wool Production?

Australia, New Zealand, and China are three countries known for wool production.

Which US State Produces The Most Wool?

Texas produces the most wool in the US.

Who’s The Largest Consumer Of Wool In The World?

The largest consumer of wool in the world is China.

Why Are Wool Prices Increasing?

Wool prices are increasing because of weather patterns, supply chain issues and increased demand.

Which Country Is No. 1 In The Wool Industry?

China is no. 1 in the wool industry.

What Type Of Industry Is The Wool Industry?

The wool industry is an agricultural industry.

Which Country Imports Wool?

Germany, France, Turkey, and Japan are some of the countries that import wool.

Who’s The Largest Exporter Of Wool?

Australia is the largest exporter of wool.

Where’s Most Wool Imported From?

Most wool is imported from Australia.

What’s The Most Expensive Wool?

The most expensive wool is Vicuña wool.

Where’s Wool Grown In Australia?

Wool is grown mostly in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria in Australia.

How Much Wool Is Produced In The United States?

In 2020, 24 million pounds of wool were produced in the United States.

Who Buys The Most Wool From Australia?

China buys the most wool from Australia.

Does Australia Have Any Wool Mills?

Yes, Australia has wool mills.

Does Australia Import Wool?

Yes, Australia imports wool.

Does The US Import Wool?

Yes, the US imports wool.

How Much Wool Does The US Import?

In 2020, The US imported 315 million pounds of raw wool.

How Much US Wool Is Exported?

In 2020, 8 million pounds of US wool was exported.

Where Does US Wool Get Exported To?

US wool gets exported to China Mexico, India, South Korea and Vietnam among other places.

Why Is Wool Used For Yarn?

Wool is used for yarn because it’s warm, soft and long-lasting.

How Much Wool Does Australia Produce In A Year?

On average, Australia produces 280 million kilograms of wool in a year.

How Much Wool Is Produced Each Year In The World?

An estimated 1.17 million metric tons of wool is produced each year in the world on average.

Who Buys Most Of Australia’s Wool?

China buys most of Australia’s wool.

Which State In Australia Produces The Most Wool?

New South Wales produces the most wool in Australia.

What’s The Biggest Wool Company In Australia?

Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI) is the biggest wool company in Australia.

How Many Wool Growers Are In Australia?

There are approx 60,000 wool growers in Australia.

How Big Is The Wool Market?

The wool market size was approx USD 33 billion in 2019.

Is Australia One Of The Main Producers Of Wool?

Yes, Australia is one of the main producers of wool.

Who’s The 2nd Largest Producer Of Wool In The World?

The 2nd largest producer of wool in the world is New Zealand.

Which Continent Is The Largest Producer Of Wool?

Oceania is the largest producer of wool.

What’re The 7 Properties Of Wool?

Warmth, moisture-wicking, odor resistance, flame resistance, durability, UV protection, and sustainability are the seven properties of wool.

What’s The Lifespan Of Wool?

The lifespan of wool is an average of 10-20 years if cared for.

What’re The 5 Major Steps In Processing Wool?

Shearing, skirting, washing, carding and spinning are the five major steps in processing wool.

Is Australia The Largest Exporter Of Wool?

Yes, Australia is the largest exporter of wool.

Why’s Australia The Largest Producer Of Wool?

Australia is the largest producer of wool because of the good climate, the excellent breeds, and government support.

Is China Still Buying Australian Wool?

Yes, China is still buying Australian wool.

Why Does Australia Export Wool To China?

Australia exports wool to China because there’s a big demand for it.

Which Wool Is Famous In Australia?

Merino wool is famous in Australia.

What Countries Does Australia Mostly Trade Wool To?

Australia mostly trades wool to China, India, Italy, the Czech Republic and Taiwan, among other countries.

Conclusion

These stats provide valuable insights into the industry, and it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves in the future. Which wool industry stat surprised you the most? Or maybe there’s a statistic I overlooked. (Whoops!) Please tell me by leaving a comment below.

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder)

jodie@knitlikegranny.com | Lives In: Regional Australia

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in regional Australia. Taught by her mother and wonderful grandmother “Mama”, she fell in love with crafting from a young age. When she’s not knitting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online knitting community. Get to know Jodie and the team on our meet the team page.

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