The payout to NI farmers for the 2021 wool clip will be up 135% from the previous year, and further increases are likely for wool supplied this year, the chief executive of British/Ulster Wool, Andrew Hogley has confirmed.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal at last week’s Balmoral Show, Hogley said that £8.4m will be paid to NI members for the 2021 clip, which works out at an overall average of 36.4p/kg. Returns for the 2021 clip are around 40p/kg for many core grades and approximately 30p/kg for Blackface wool.

However, the latest indications from the market point to 50-60p/kg for white wools and 40p/kg for Blackface wool.

“It is an improving market. It is not where we want it to be, but we are in a much better place than the last few years,” said Hogley.

British/Ulster Wool has not paid advance payments since 2019, and going forward, producers will now receive a full payment 12 months in arrears.


In 2021, transport charges were scrapped, and that remains the case in 2022. Across NI, there are 25 drop-off points. New suppliers can register at

Hogley is keen to get more local farmers on board, and while his organisation collected higher volumes in 2021, with approximately 1.4m kg taken in, he estimates there is slightly over 2m kg available.

“The more we work together, the stronger a voice we can be. More kilos of wool also reduces our unit cost,” he said.

With some speciality types such as Bluefaced Leicester making around £5.50/kg, it is important to bag it separately.

Also, there is an additional £1/kg for most types of organic wool, and clips of 2,000kg or more will continue to receive an additional 4p/kg, with further incremental increases for larger volumes.

“Don’t hold onto your wool this year – we have got the demand and we need wool to satisfy our customers. If we don’t meet that demand, there is a danger they look to New Zealand instead,” added Hogley.

He said demand has now picked up, as hospitality businesses and other outlets for carpet wool return to normal.

British/Ulster Wool has also worked hard in recent years to promote wool as a sustainable product and develop relationships with customers. Around 25% of the clip is now sold to people who want local wool.

“We would like to get that to 45-50%,” said Hogley, who confirmed that he aims to get a full traceability system in place at the main Muckamore site in Antrim within the next 12 months.

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