4 May 2011

Wool scouring monoploy opposed

12:52 pm on 4 May 2011

The wool sector in China and the price of entry into the New Zealand scouring industry are among the concerns of opponents of a wool scouring monopoly in this country.

The Commerce Commission is holding a two-day conference in Wellington on a draft decision to allowCavalier Wool to buy the scouring operations as well as the other assets of the country's largest wool exporter, New Zealand Wool Services International.

In it's preliminary view, the commission acknowledges the purchase would give Cavalier, a wool processor and carpet maker, a monopoly on wool scouring in the country.

But it says there are benefits that would outweight the loss of competition.

Godfrey Hirst, one of the country's two big wool processors and carpet makers, told the conference that it's not happy with the preliminary decision.

New Zealand manager Tania Pauling said itwould give its main competitor control of all of the country's wool scours.

Cavalier says it would merge the scouring business of Wool Service's International with its sites at Napier and Timaru.

Chief executive Nigel Hales says Cavalier would like to build the scouring industry in New Zealand, not see bales of greasy wool head offshore.

The Commerce Commission will make a final decision by the end of this month.