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Improvement in wool prices lagging that for competing fibres

29 March 2021
Compared with a year ago, Australian wool prices are slightly lower in A$ terms, but are higher in US$, Euro and Renminbi. Against the US$, current prices are 25% higher than at the end of March 2020. What has happened to wool prices in some of the other major wool producing countries? In South Africa, prices have followed a similar trend to that seen for Australia. The South African 21 micron wool indicator recovered from the lows seen in September and have improved a little more in the past…

Clothing retail sales in China jump, sales weak in other countries

22 March 2021
Consumer confidence in Europe, the US and the UK remain low. There is little sign of recovery in these regions. In contrast, consumer confidence has recovered to levels seen prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in China and South Korea. It has recovered in Japan but remains below year earlier levels. These weak consumer confidence levels translated into poor retail sales of clothing in many countries over the recently completed Autumn/Winter season in the Northern Hemisphere. As I have reported in…

Value of Australian wool exports hit near 40-year low

18 March 2021
The latest Australian wool export statistics shows that Australia’s wool exports fell in January 2021 compared with the year earlier, down by 20% in volume terms and by 35% in value terms. In volume terms, exports to China were down by 19% year-on-year while exports to five other top ten destinations were also lower. For the 2020/21 season to January, Australia’s exports by volume were steady compared with the same seven months in the 2019/20 season, up by a very slight 0.3% to 137.2 mkg…

Chris Wilcox to retire as NCWSBA Executive Director

11 March 2021
The current Executive Director of the National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia, Chris Wilcox has announced that he will retire as Executive Director on 30th April 2021. Chris has been NCWSBA’s Executive Director since March 2008. Rowan Woods, President of NCWSBA, said “Chris has been the driving force for NCWSBA on the many issues that the industry has faced in the 13 years he has held the position of Executive Director, ensuring that the views of our members are heard loudly and…

Sharp jump in AWTA wool tests in February

11 March 2021
AWTA released the wool test statistics for February on 1st March and these show that the weight of wool tested jumped by 16% in February compared with February 2020. As a result, for the 2020/21 season to end February, the weight of wool tested was 4.9% below year earlier levels. If this trend pf year-on-year increases continues, the AWPFC’s forecast of a 1.1% increase in shorn wool production for the 2020/21 season will be within reach. All states with the exception of Western Australia (WA)…

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…

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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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