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Tentative signs of higher retail sales as consumer’s become a little more confident

23 November 2020
We are into the second month of the Autumn/Winter retail season in the Northern Hemisphere, a critical season for sales of wool clothing. Given what has happened this year with the awful toll of COVID-19 and the associated restrictions and now the second wave of infections rising in Europe, the US and, to a lesser extent, Japan, it is time to take stock on how consumer confidence and retail sales are shaping up in the major wool consuming countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Consumer…

Higher volume of medium Merino wool despite drop in total wool tested

16 November 2020
The weight of wool tested by AWTA in October was down by 18%. This large drop continues the yo-yoing seen in the weight of wool tested so far this season, after a lift in September which was preceded by falls in July and August. The drop in October seems to be in part due to wet weather holding up shearing in some areas. As well, there are reports of a shortage of shearers and shed-hands due to restrictions on travel across state borders and from New Zealand. For the season to date, the weight…

Global cotton stocks lift to 95% of annual use

16 November 2020
Cotton prices, as judged by the CotLook A Index (a global benchmark indicator for cotton), have recovered strongly since the COVID-induced slump in March-April this year. After hitting a low of 60.75 USc/lb (133.9 USc/kg) in the first week of April, the CotLook A index has lifted by 28% to 76.7 USc/b (169.06 USc/kg) by the end of October. Even so, this is well below the average of 88.2 USc/lb (194.40 USc/kg) over the past decade. Cotton prices have recovered in recent months due to better mill…

Merino wool prices at 60th percentile despite falls

19 October 2020
Australian wool prices have fallen sharply in the past 12 months, even after the recovery in recent weeks. The largest declines have been for crossbred wool, particularly at the broad end. Where does that leave prices in historical terms? The EMI in A$ has fallen to the 64th percentile, down from the 89th percentile a year ago That is, current prices are higher than 64 percent of prices since 2000. So, while prices are substantially lower than 12 months ago (and even more compared with 2 years…

Wool prices in all producing countries hit hard by COVID pandemic

12 October 2020
As I have reported over the past few months, Australian wool prices have fallen back in the past six months, despite the increase in the past 4 weeks. Have these price declines also been seen in some of the other major wool producing countries? In South Africa, which produces mainly Merino wool of 21 microns and finer, prices have followed a similar trend to that seen for Australia. The South African 21 micron wool indicator has fallen back in the past few months, in line with the trends in…

Auction wool sales up on 2019/20, but wool tests down

05 October 2020
While demand (or lack of it) has been the focus for the industry in recent months, there have been significant developments on the supply side in Australia. According to the data from AWEX’s Weekly Market report, there has been 326,126 bales offered for sale at auctions so far this season, with 279,981 bales sold. Over 10% of the wool offered this season to date is re-offered wool. These season-to-date figures compare with the statistics from last season to week 14: 334,705 bales offered and…

Raw wool demand drops, but tentative signs of improvement from China

14 September 2020
The latest data on wool exports by the five major wool producing and exporting countries shows the extent of the decline in raw wool demand by the major wool processing countries so far in 2020. However, there are some tentative signs of improvement in the raw wool demand by China, the largest wool processing country. Data on Australian wool exports in July shows that the volume of exports to all destinations were down by 8%. This decline came despite an 8% increase in exports to China. This is…

Wool price competitiveness improves strongly

07 September 2020
One positive result of the larger decline in wool prices compared to that of the decline in prices for competing fibres is that wool price ratio against cotton and synthetics has fallen back sharply since March. The fall in the ratio of the wool prices has been stunning, particularly against cotton. The current price ratios for 21 micron and 28 micron wool against cotton are the lowest since May 2011. The price ratio for 18 micron wool is the lowest since March 2014. These are dramatic falls…

NCWSBA President's 2019/20 Report - A Year of Turmoil

31 August 2020
It is with very mixed emotions that I deliver to you the President’s report for the last 12 months. It has been a year of turmoil, that continues to evolve on a day by day basis as I write this report. Our beloved wool industry continues to be smashed on all sides. To believe we survived drought, fires and floods, only to be confronted by COVID – 19 really put the icing on the cake. 2020 will long be remembered, for all the wrong reasons. Wool is basically totally discretionary spend and with…

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The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia


News Flash

The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee released its updated forecast of shorn wool production for 2020/21 on 14th August 2020. The Committee now predicts that shorn wool production in 2020/21 will be 280 mkg greasy. This is a decline of just 1.1% on the 283 mkg greasy produced in 2019/20 and comes after the 5.5% fall in 2019/20 compared with 2018/19. This updated forecast is an improvement on the Committee’s April forecast for 2020/21 of 276 mkg. The Committee expects the small decline in shorn wool production despite the much better seasonal conditions throughout much of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and the south-east of South Australia. The main driver for the decline in shorn wool production is a lower number of sheep shorn combined with the residual effects of the drought in the first part of the season and continued dry conditions in Western Australia, central Queensland and in the pastoral regions of South Australia.

Full details are provided at here.

National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia



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