According to John Gorman, Aries Victorian Sheepskins, the sheepskin market ‘absolutely stopped’ in China for the 3-4 weeks to about mid-August and China is Australia’s major buyer of sheepskins.

Gorman is also president of the International Council of Hides, Skins and Leather Traders Associations and president of the Australian Hide, Skin and Leather Exporters Association.

He told Leather International that Türkiye was a major buyer of lambskins and that the market would be at the height of the lamb season until October. ‘They will be at a price range depending on quality of from US$9-11.

‘There is a shortage of skins and a lot of meatworks are are only working 3-4 days a week. I believe this will improve in the future.’

He said there were not enough supplies and this created ‘too much competition.’ With the influx of Chinese companies in Australia, particularly in Melbourne, there were a lot of Chinese companies now selling direct to China. ‘This increased competition is making it harder for the industry to remain stable’, he said. ‘With a large number of companies in the industry it is doubtful that this will occur. They can’t all achieve a profit.

‘This is reflected in the fact that two major exporters have closed down and have had receivers appointed in the last two months.’