British Wool will pay an average of 36.4p/kg (43c/kg) for 2021 wool supplied, up 135% on 2020 prices. The wool marketing body, which is owned by 35,000 British sheep farmers, also said there will be “further price improvement” for the 2022 clip.

Meanwhile, Irish merchants remain sheepish on wool prices for 2022, with those quoting suggesting prices at 15c/kg to 20c/kg for lowland wool, less than half what British Wool members are seeing.

With the 2022 shearing season already underway, a plan for improving the market for Irish wool remains delayed. In November, Minister of State Pippa Hackett announced that the Agile Executive would undertake a wool feasibility study with a budget of €100,000.

The minister said she expected the review to be completed by the end of March, but as of yet, no outcome has been published. Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said: “The final report has been received and is expected to be published in the coming weeks.”

Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) sheep chair Seán McNamara called for the immediate publication of the review as “anger grows among sheep farmers due to ridiculously low wool prices in Ireland.”