More wool woes

July 21, 2013

Canterbury Woolspinners’ proposal for 50 redundancies in Dannevirke is sad news for the staff and the town.

It is also concerning for wool producers.

Carpet isn’t the floor covering of choice in many countries and even where it is there are synthetic alternatives which are often cheaper.

There’s an opportunity to tap into the green market  going begging.

If only the strong wool industry could follow merino’s example and sell itself as the natural, renewable, flame retardant material it is.

Jon Morgan reminds those of us who grow it that we should be setting a good example by using it in our homes and clothing.

. . . I’m not throwing off my winter woollies just yet.

And they are wool. The blankets on my bed, the rugs on my floor, the clothes on my back (and front). I couldn’t look sheep farmers in the eye if they weren’t.

But a surprising number of sheep farmers are not wearing wool. Quite often their outer clothing is made from a synthetic fibre.

Which makes me wonder about their carpets . . .

If we don’t use the wonderful fibre we grow we have only ourselves to blame if other people don’t either.


About that manufacturing crisis

March 16, 2013

The Opposition are continuing to waste their time and our money generating publicity manufacturing a manufacturing crisis.

There is no doubt some businesses are failing and jobs are being lost.

But New Zealand manufacturing expanded for a third month to reach the highest level in a year in February, driven by an accelerating pace of production and new orders.

BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index rose 1.1 points to 56.3, the highest since February 2012. All five of the seasonally adjusted diffusion indexes expanded last month.

Food, beverage and tobacco manufacturing was the fastest growing sector, with a reading of 67.8, which bank of New Zealand economist Craig Ebert said may reflect increased meat processing in the face of drought. That would be offset, though, by reduced milk processing, he said. Production sped to 61.4 from 57.7 in January.

“We have to take today’s PMI as encouraging,” Ebert said. “It outlines that production is picking up and will keep doing so if new orders are any guide.”

He noted that the performance of manufacturing was still patchy, with metal product manufacturing in contraction with a reading of 46.4.

New orders were at 58.2 on the scale where 50 separates expansion from contraction, the strongest since February last year. Employment was on 50.1, the first time that measure hasn’t contracted since May 2012. Finished stocks on 51.8 and deliveries on 53.9 both slipped from the previous month.

Last month the loss of 192 jobs at Summit Wool Spinners rocked Oamaru. But last week, the new owners, Canterbury Wool Spinners/Godfrey Hirst, rehired 60 staff t the plant.

Expansion and contraction are a normal part of business.

Some industries are going backwards but others are stable or expanding and manufacturing as a whole is not in crisis.


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