The next three weeks will be especially tough for SA's wool industry, in which sales have already dropped by 12.5% in the past week due to a decline in global demand because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Costly diseases are nothing new for the industry, which is still recovering from a foot-and-mouth outbreak that led to China banning wool exports from SA. The ban was lifted in May last year but exports worth R700m sat unsold while it was in effect.This time the threat comes from the coronavirus and SA's 21-day lockdown. "Due to the escalating global crisis of the coronavirus and the accompanying market uncertainty, the wool market had to endure a 12.5% drop on last week's sale [auction]," said Deon Saayman, GM for Cape Wools SA.The drop followed a 2.6% decline in the previous week's auction. The South African Wool and Mohair Buyers Association said President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that the country would be under lockdown for 21 days would affect trading as it would...

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