Wool output in SA, the world’s second-biggest producer of the variety used for clothes, may surge about 50% from the lowest level in a century as local prices climb amid global supply that’s at a 70-year low, the head of the main industry body said. Production by SA, as well as Namibia and Lesotho, could rise to 75-million kilograms in the next three years as consumers’ demand for apparel made from the fibre increases, Cape Wools CEO Louis de Beer said. "There is a market gap," said De Beer, whose company represents groups involved in producing, trading and processing wool, on Tuesday. It "presents an unbelievable opportunity to increase SA’s export earnings". Prices surged at the first auction of the season on August 16, with the Cape Wools Merino Indicator climbing 20% to R183.50/kg, boosted by demand from buyers in China, India and the Czech Republic, the association said. It eased to R180.92 at Wednesday’s sale, but is still higher than any price since at least the 2007 season a...

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