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What’s happening to wool prices?

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Australian and South African wool prices have lifted, while NZ and UK wool prices have dropped, and China’s Trade Data shows a very mixed picture for 2016/17.

Merino wool prices in Australia have risen sharply in this season. The contrast between superfine wool prices in Australia with prices for other wool’s is stark, particularly for broader wool from NZ and the UK.


The Australian Eastern Market indicator is currently 19% higher than at the start of the 2016/17 season, while the 18 Micron Price Guide is up by 43%. The South African Cape Wools Indicator is up by 18% in A$ terms.


In contrast, NZ fine Crossbred prices are 31% lower and UK wool prices (based on the British Wool Marketing Board’s Market Indicator) are 22% lower. All prices are in A$ terms.


Data on China’s trade in wool and wool products for December shows that China’s imports of raw and semi-processed wool jumped in December. Compared with a year earlier, total imports were up by 42%, with a 49% year-on-year leap in imports from Australia and a 93% jump in imports from South Africa. China’s imports from New Zealand had fallen for 14 out of the previous 15 months, but increased by 37% in December. After 12 consecutive months of declines, imports from Uruguay increased by 36%.


China’s exports of fabric were 78% higher in December than in December 2015, with a sharp rise in exports to the European Union, South Korea and ‘other’ destinations. However, China’s exports of other products declined in December – wool top was down by 11%, wool yarn was 30% lower, wool fabric exports were 4% down for the month and exports of wool sweaters were 16% lower.



Source:  The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia

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