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Current superfine wool prices at 80th percentile, broad wool prices near lows

01 March 2021
Australian wool prices have lifted from the lows recorded in early September 2020, resulting in an improvement in the historical ranking of current prices. The EMI in A$ has lifted to the 80th percentile, up from the 64th percentile in October 2020. That is, current prices are higher than 80 percent of prices since 2000. This shows how well the recovery is tracking and that current prices are relatively good, even though they are still well below the heights of 2116 Ac/kg reached in August…

Price premiums for superfine wool at multi-year highs

22 February 2021
Since the start of 2021, the prices for superfine wool (18.5 micron and finer) have risen more quickly than prices for medium Merino wool (21-24 micron), continuing the trend seen in the second half of 2020. This has changed the price differentials between a selection of microns compared with 21 micron wool. The premiums paid for superfine wool over medium Merino wool have lifted since mid-2019, with a very strong rise in the premiums for both 16.5 micron wool and 18 micron wool in 2020 and in…

Australian wool export volumes lift in first half of 2020/21 due to sharp jump in exports to China

15 February 2021
The latest data from Australian Bureau of Statistics on Australia’s wool exports shows that the volume of exports lifted sharply in December, by 38% year-on-year. But the value of wool exports fell, by 29%. The lift in the volume of exports was due almost entirely to a 61% jump in the volume of wool exports to China. Exports to almost all of the other top 10 destinations recorded significant declines for the month. In value terms, exports to China lifted by 28% year-on-year for the month, while…

Over three-quarters of farm bales at auction have a National Wool Declaration

08 February 2021
According to the latest data from AWEX, there was a 7% lift in the number of first-hand farm bales offered at auction with a National Wool Declaration (NWD) this season between July 2020 to January 2021. At the same time, there was an 11% decline in the number of bales offered at auction that did not have a declaration. As result, 75.9% of all first-hand farm bales offered at auction this season had a declaration (which includes blank or mulesed declarations). This is an increase on the 73.8%…

US imports of men’s wool wovenwear slump in 2020

01 February 2021
US imports of wool clothing has dropped sharply in the July to November period this year, led by a slump in imports of men’s wool wovenwear. For wool clothing, around 65% of the annual US imports of wool clothing is imported between July and November each year. This allows retailers to have wool clothing product available for the peak demand period in Autumn/Winter, between October and January each year. The data on US imports for the July-November period this year shows a sharp drop in US…

Is a commodity price supercycle beginning?

27 January 2021
An article in the 16th January edition of The Economist magazine notes that many commodity prices are well above the levels at the start of 2020, before the impact of the Covid pandemic was being felt. It then asks if a new supercycle is beginning. Wool (notably Merino wool) had its own price supercycle which began in 2016, peaked in the second half of 2018 and then waned through 2019 and 2020, with prices reaching a low in mid-2020. The data shows that there has been a sharp rise in some…

Australian wool tests at decades low in first half of 2020/21

18 January 2021
There has been the usual set of data on the Australian industry released over the recess period, including the wool test statistics for December and statistics on mulesing status from the National Wool Declaration. The AWTA data on wool tested in December shows that the volumes of wool tested fell compared with December 2019. The weight of wool tested was 4% lower for the month, while the number of bales tested was 4.2% lower. There were mixed results between states, with the weight of wool…

First half of the 2020/21 season in review

21 December 2020
The first half of the 2020/21 season saw a small decline in auction offerings of Australian wool, down by 1.2% to 701,338 bales. Remarkably in light of the COVID-19 restrictions and low prices, the volume of Australian wool sold at auction lifted by 2.0% to 615,086 bales. The pass-in rate for the first six months of the season was 12.8%, compared with a pass-in rate of 15.3% in the first half of the 2019/20 season. While prices have in general fallen significantly compared with this time last…

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The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia


News Flash

There were solid premiums paid for non-mulesed Merino wool at auction in the first six months of the 2020/21 season, according to data and analysis available from AWEX. These premiums were a little lower than in 2019/20 but come even though prices for Merino wool fell to decade lows as the full brunt of the COVID pandemic was felt throughout the wool textile industry.

The data also shows that there were statistically significant discounts inflicted on wool offered at auction that did not have a National Wool Declaration.

The premiums for non-mulesed wool over equivalent mulesed wool averaged as much as 34 cents/kg for Merino wool in the first six months of the 2020/21 season to December. By micron, non-mulesed 16 micron wool attracted the highest average premium of 34 cents/kg, while non-mulesed 19 micron wool saw an average premium of 15 cents. Non-mulesed wool of 17, 18 and 20 micron wool attracted average premiums of 21 cents, 28 cents and 8 cents and 23 cents respectively for each kilogram. These are statistically sound estimates by AWEX. There was insufficient data for AWEX to report on the results for 21 and 22 micron wool.

Stephen Keys, Vice President of NCWSBA, said “These premiums are a little lower than those recorded for the full 2019/20 season but that is not surprising given that demand for wool was very weak throughout the first half of this season and wool prices fell to the lowest seen in a decade or more. The fact that the average premiums were sustained at the level they were this season is a testament to the continued demand for non-mulesed Australian wool.”

“Remember that these are average premiums”, Mr Keys continued. “These do not show some of the much higher premiums that NCWSBA is aware have been achieved for good quality, fine non-mulesed Merino wool, or for non-mulesed fine Merino wool that is sold directly by growers under contract.”

Mr Keys said, “In addition to these solid premiums for non-mulesed wool, the analysis from AWEX shows that there are discounts inflicted on wool offered at auction without an National Wool Declaration. For example, there was an average discount of 9 cents per kilogram on 19 micron wool that did not have a National Wool Declaration.”

“It is very pleasing to see that in the first seven months of the 2020/21 season that just over two-thirds of first-hand grower bales offered at auction had a National Wool Declaration. But more needs to be done to lift this uptake rate as close as we can to 100%.”

“NCWSBA believes that all Australian wool producers should be made aware of the discounts that are being imposed at auction for wool that does not have a National Wool Declaration. The market is clearly seeking transparency regardless of the mulesing status of the wool that growers offer. NCWSBA and its member companies encourage all growers to complete, sign and submit a valid National Wool Declaration with their wool.”

“It is also important that growers know of the continued substantial premiums for non-mulesed wool, which reflects the clear demand signals from the global wool textile industry. This should help Australian wool producers in their management decisions about mulesing.”

“Finally, the analysis showed that average premiums of up to 25 cents/kg for wool from sheep mulesed with analgesic or anaesthetic have been paid in the first half of this season for superfine wool finer than 18 microns.”

Download NCWSBA Media Release February 2021


National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia



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