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Wool Buyer (Export)

Export wool buyers assess and value wool sold by farmers through merchant and country wool buyers, and auctions. They are responsible for purchasing wool that meets the specifications of their clients.


Tasks & duties

Export wool buyers may do some or all of the following:

  • buy wool on behalf of their company for clients in New Zealand and overseas
  • go to wool stores to evaluate wool samples by determining colour, yield (amount of actual wool in a sample without water, grease and dirt), micron (thickness) and length
  • grade wool into different types such as hogget or ewe wool, and full-length fleece or belly pieces
  • attend auctions to buy wool
  • put prices in the auction catalogue for the wools they have graded
  • bid against other wool buyers to buy wool at auction
  • buy wool from farmers through merchant and country wool buyers over the phone or in person
  • decide whether the wool they have bought is going to be scoured (washed) or left greasy (unwashed) or sent to a spinning plant
  • organise the wool to be transported to clients in New Zealand and overseas
  • monitor the currency markets, comparing the value of the New Zealand dollar with foreign currencies


Skills & knowledge

Export wool buyers need to have:

  • wool evaluation skills to class wool according to colour, micron, length and yield
  • knowledge of sheep breeds and wool types
  • knowledge of the wool market and prices for wool
  • knowledge of auctions and how to bid at them
  • knowledge of the exchange rates for different currencies
  • decision-making skills
  • organisational ability
  • communication skills
  • computer skills. Some knowledge of shipping is also important


Entry requirements

To become an export wool buyer you need to have a current driver's licence. A relevant national certificate course or Bachelor of Commerce is also preferred.

For further information on relevant courses contact Tectra.


Secondary education

A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter further training.


Training on the job

Many skills are gained on the job. Most export wool buyers start out as trainees and may complete related courses through distance learning.


Useful experience

Useful experience for export wool buyers includes:

  • work as a wool handler
  • farming experience
  • work as a wool classer


Related courses

Wool and Fibre Harvesting
Wool and Fibre Science


For more information, please refer to Career Services.

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