Lesotho to Hold Its First Wool, Mohair Auction Next Week

(Bloomberg) -- Lesotho is scheduled to hold its first auction of wool and mohair next week after introducing new regulations it says are designed to boost the local industry.

Under the regulations, which came into effect in September, farmers are obliged to sell their product at the Lesotho Wool Center. Sales were previously conducted at Port Elizabeth in neighboring South Africa via wool brokerage BKB.

Besides attracting foreign buyers to the country, farmers will benefit from reduced transport costs, Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki said on a visit to the wool center last week.

The Lesotho National Wool and Mohair Growers Association argue the center, managed by Stone Shi, a private businessman, amounts to a monopoly. The association, which has about 35,000 members, is also opposed to the introduction of a licensing system.

Wool and mohair are Lesotho’s main agricultural exports, with wool sales in 2016-17 amounting to about 480 million rand ($33 million).

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.