SHEEP farmers have expressed concern over the impact of coronavirus on wool prices.

The prices being paid for wool could be down by as much as half because of low demand for the material because of Covid-19.

And that may mean that some farmers are unable even to pay the costs of shearing and wool handling.

National Sheep Association chief executive Phil Stocker said: “It’s not fully clear how the reduced value of the remainder of the 2019/20 clip will affect the overall value of a farmers wool delivered last year, but it would be easy to assume total fleece values might be down by 50 per cent.

“Cash flows will be affected, and many farmers will be faced with a bill from their shearing contractors but with no income to offset that.

“Although there are plenty of sheep farmers who do get real value from their wool most will at least expect it to cover shearing and wool handling costs.

“A fall of 50 per cent of total value would, for most, mean total income not clearing costs.”