News Flash

Australian wool production forecast to fall again in 2020/21

04 May 2020
The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC) met on Wednesday 29th April 2020 and reviewed its forecast of Australian shorn wool production for 2019/20. It also decided on its first forecast for 2020/21. The Committee revised its forecast for 2019/20 to 281 mkg greasy. This is a 6.3% decline on shorn wool production in 2018/19. It is higher than the 272 mkg greasy that the Committee forecast in November, in line with the AWTA test data to end March. The Committee’s first…

The Australian wool market carries on amid COVID-19 turmoil

30 March 2020
Australian wool auctions continued this week in all three selling centres, with new locations for auction rooms in Melbourne and Fremantle as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The auction rooms have been moved to the showfloor and elsewhere in the selling centre complex to ensure that the Government’s social distancing rules are adhered to. The auction rooms in Sydney will change location next week. Room breaks are more frequent, and lunchbreaks have been extended. Brokers, buyer, growers…

NCWSBA Members and Guests Celebrate the NCWSBA Centenary

11 March 2020
NCWSBA celebrated its Centenary on 20th February with 2 auctions and a reception. The NCWSBA Centenary Wool Auction was held at the Peter Calvo Auditorium of the Australian Institute of Music in King St, Melbourne. It was a great event with Melbourne buyers out in force to support and bid for the 200 lots on offer. We also had a large number of growers, broking staff, industry people and others observing the auction, both at the back of the auction floor and in the mezzanine viewing area. The…

Industry News

IWTO 2020 Congress - Activity levels slump, stocks jump in global wool textile industry

27 May 2020
The International Wool Textile Organisation 2020 Digital Congress was held on 21st to 23rd May. During the pre-recorded Market Intelligence session, Chris Wilcox (NCWSBA Executive Director) gave a presentation on the current situation and the outlook for the global wool industry. He reported the results from the annual survey of wool textile conditions from the IWTO, which are hugely negative for all sectors of the wool textile industry. Each sector, including garment making to weaving,…

COVID-19 causes fall in prices for all textile fibres

18 May 2020
Wool prices have fallen sharply in the past few months, particularly in US$ terms. For example, the EMI is down by 30% since January, while the 18 micron price guide has fallen by 27%. What has happened to the prices for other fibres, including wool from other countries? Have they been affected as much by COVID-19 and the lockdowns? Prices for other fibres have seen sharp falls in prices in the past few months, particularly the prices of man-made fibres. The oil-based synthetic fibres such as…
Consumer confidence
Industry News

Slump in consumer confidence a contributor to demand destruction for wool

11 May 2020
The fall in wool prices in the Australian wool market is unrelenting in response to the destruction of demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) fell by 55 Acents, the fourth consecutive weekly decline, and finished at 1170 Ac/kg, the lowest week ending level in five years. One cause of the demand destruction is a collapse in consumer confidence in most of the major wool consuming countries and regions in April due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. The chart…

Double whammy for wool demand

04 May 2020
Obviously the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on demand for wool, as it has on demand for many commodities and raw materials, as well as products around the world. The market for wool used in clothing has been hit by a double whammy over the past 18 months or so. First came the US-China trade war (remember that?), which triggered a sharp fall in Australian wool prices from the supercycle peak. There was a resultant 24% drop in the EMI in A$ terms from the supercycle peak in August 2018…

Lower raw wool trade due to weak demand

27 April 2020
Global demand for raw wool was weak before much of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and travel, social and economic restrictions were imposed. This is illustrated by the trends in the volume of exports from the five major wool exporting countries. The total wool exports from the five major exporting countries was 10% lower this season to February compared with the previous season. Exports from Australia, Argentina and Uruguay were all lower this season. The largest decline was for Uruguay,…

Wool consuming economies forecast to take a huge hit from Covid-19

20 April 2020
The International Monetary Fund released new forecasts for economic growth in 2020 and 2021 for the world and forecasts for each country to account for the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed by many countries. They make for pretty grim reading. The IMF says that ‘This crisis is like no other…the loss associated with this health emergency and related containment measures likely dwarfs the losses that triggered the global financial crisis.’ Despite the…

Consumer confidence plunges in major wool consuming countries

15 April 2020
There is obviously much concern around the world about the impact on the economies around the world of the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, and the likely huge impact on retail sales, and what this may mean for raw wool demand. Because Government data is lagged, it is too early yet to know the extent of the damage in Europe and North America, as well as here in Australia. However, consumer confidence provides an advance indication of what may happen to economies and, in particular, to…

Decline in weight of wool tested eases in March

06 April 2020
AWTA last week released the data on wool tested in March. It shows that the weight of wool tested in March fell by 3.9% compared with March 2019. As a result, the year-on-year change for the first three quarters of 2019/20 was a decline of 5.5%. This year-on-year decline continues to be smaller than the Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee’s November 2019 forecast of a 9.2% drop in 2019/20. The Committee’s forecast anticipated a larger decline for New South Wales than has actually…

Wool price relativity against other fibres falls back

30 March 2020
While wool prices have fallen sharply in US$ over the past 4 weeks (despite the lift this week), prices for cotton have also fallen abruptly. Since the start of March, the Eastern Market Indicator is down by 19% while the CotLook A index is also down by 19%. Prices for synthetic fibres seem to have fallen by less (although full March data is not yet available). As a result of the changes in prices for wool and other fibres, the wool price ratio against cotton and synthetics has fallen back in…


NCWSBA Wool Broker Award now open for 2020

06 April 2020
The NCWSBA Wool Broker Award for 2020 has been launched! This is the ninth year the Award has been offered. This year’s Award is again sponsored by AWTA (as the industry sponsor) and Sheep Central (as the media sponsor). The Award recognises excellence in wool broking by a younger member of our industry – be it client servicing, auctioneering, innovation or other aspects of wool broking. This year’s Award winner will be granted an all-expenses paid trip to Kyoto, Japan to attend the 2021 IWTO…

NCWSBA Celebrates its Centenary

17 February 2020
More than 200 hundred people will come together this week to celebrate the centenary of the National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia. The centenary will be marked by the NCWSBA Centenary Auction to be held on Thursday, 20th February 2020, which will be followed by a cocktail reception featuring a charity auction in support of the Michael Manion Wool Industry Foundation. President of the NCWSBA, John Colley, said “The Australian wool industry is an iconic part of Australia’s history…

NCWSBA supports call for the mandatory use of pain-relief

09 September 2019
At its meeting on 22nd August, the NCWSBA Board decided unanimously to support the call for the mandatory use of anaesthetic/analgesia when surgical mulesing is conducted. As is now well known, WoolProducers Australia and some state farming organisations have adopted a policy of seeking the mandatory use of pain-relief for surgical mulesing. This is being supported by Sheep Producers Australia. The Board of NCWSBA considered the results of a survey of its members which showed that the…

National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia



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