News Flash

New forecast predicts 9% decline in Australian shorn wool production in 2019/20

25 November 2019
The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee met on Wednesday, 20th November to review its forecast of shorn wool production for the 2019/20 season. The Committee decided to move its meeting forward from December given the continued dry and drought conditions across many of the major sheep and wool producing regions. The dry conditions have resulted in a larger decline in wool volumes tested and offered at auction than the Committee had previously expected. The Committee’s new forecast…

Media Release: NCWSBA opens historical display of wool broking in Sydney

11 November 2019
The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia today opened a wool broking industry historical display at the Sydney Wool Selling Centre in Yennora. The display celebrates the history of the wool broking industry in Australia and is a companion to the NCWSBA historical display in Melbourne. NCWSBA President John Colley opened the display, saying “The Australian wool industry is an iconic part of Australia’s history and its economy. Wool broking companies have been a vital part of…

Media Release: Premiums for Non-Mulesed Wool Jump in the first quarter of 2019/20

28 October 2019
The premiums for non-mulesed Merino wool jumped in the first quarter of the 2018/19 season to more than 100 cents, according to data and analysis from AWEX. This confirms the anecdotal reports from buyers about the continued very strong demand for non-mulesed wool this season, even as wool prices in general have fallen back. The premiums for non-mulesed wool over equivalent mulesed wool averaged as much as 108 cents/kg for Merino wool in the first three months of the 2019/20 season to…

Industry News

Raw wool trade from major exporting countries falls

16 December 2019
The latest data on Australia’s wool exports from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that wool exports fell in October, continuing the negative trend seen for much of the past six months. The volume (i.e. weight) of Australia’s exports fell by 10% in October and was down 35% by value. For the first four months of the 2019/20 season, Australia’s wool exports were 21% lower in volume terms and a massive 40% lower by value. Australia is not alone in seeing a significant drop in wool exports…

IWTO Roundtable focuses on challenges for broad wool

16 December 2019
The IWTO held its annual Roundtable meeting in Queenstown, New Zealand at the start of December. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the difficulties facing the broad wool (or, as they call it in NZ, the strong wool) sector was the major topic of discussion over the two days, although there was also a number of presentations which had more relevance to the fine, Merino wool sector. Certainly, broad wool (32 micron and broader) is facing severe challenges, with Colin MacKenzie of CP Wool saying that there…

Mixed consumer confidence and retail sales in the Northern Hemisphere

16 December 2019
The current trends and levels of consumer confidence in the major wool consuming countries reflect the uncertain economic conditions in many countries. Consumer confidence in the EU has weakened over the past 12 months as the economies in the EU have weakened. There has been a particularly sharp fall in consumer confidence in Japan in the past 12 months to the lowest level since 2012. Consumer confidence in South Korea also remains well below the levels seen in 2017 and the early part of 2018.…

US imports of wool clothing from China slump in September

18 November 2019
There are signs in recent weeks of an easing in the tensions between the US and China on the trade front. There has been progress in negotiations between the two countries with reports in the media that the US will hold off from imposing the new additional tariffs on the remaining Chinese goods planned for December. In return, China would begin to remove the embargo it has placed on imports of US agricultural products which has hurt the Mid-West farmers in the US. The Chinese negotiators are…

Australian wool exports slump in September

11 November 2019
The latest data on Australian wool exports was released on 7th November. It shows that wool exports from Australia dropped sharply in September compared with a year earlier. The weight of wool exported in September was 35% below the levels in September 2018, while the value of exports was down by a massive 56%. Incredibly, this monthly year-on-year decline by value is the largest seen since June 1990! Exports to the four largest export destinations were down in September by between 27% and 45%…

South African wool prices less volatile than in Australia, broad wool prices depressed

04 November 2019
Australian wool prices have been extremely volatile week by week over the past month or so, after having fallen sharply in August. Despite this volatility, wool prices in Australia have recovered well from the recent low point of 1365 c/kg in the first week of September. It is now 230 cents higher than that low point but is still 121 c/kg (7%) below the level at the start of the season. Have we seen the same decline and volatility in wool prices in other countries? The situation in South Africa…

Cotton prices remain low as production outstrips demand

28 October 2019
Cotton prices, as judged by the CotLook A Index (a global benchmark indicator for cotton), have fallen sharply since mid-2018, despite a brief respite at the start of 2019. From a high of 101.5 USc/lb (or 223.7 USc/kg) in June 2018, the CotLook A Index fell by 31% to a low of 70.4 USc/lb (or 155.1 USc/kg) in August. Prices have since recovered a little to 75.2 USc/b (165.8 USc/kg). The fall in prices over the past 15 months is the result of the rise in cotton production outstripping the growth…

Australian wool price volatility hits highest level in 20 years

21 October 2019
The volatility of Australian wool prices in the past few months has been at the highest level in any time in the past 20 or 30 years. Price volatility can be assessed by looking at standard deviation of the weekly change in prices, annualised. The volatility of the Eastern Market Indicator has leapt in the past few months after a period of relatively low volatility between 2016 and 2018. Volatility of the EMI is currently at the highest level in at least the past 20 years. The extreme…

Raw wool demand falls

14 October 2019
Wool prices have dropped sharply in the past few months, reflecting sharply lower demand and comes despite the lower volumes of wool available from Australia. The fall in demand is illustrated by the decline in the volume of wool exported by the five major wool exporting countries (Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa and Uruguay). For the first eight months of 2019, total wool exports from these five countries were 11% lower than for the same period in 2018. At just 352 mkg greasy,…


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…

Online training for Emergency Animal Disease

26 November 2018
There is now a Wool Broker and Livestock Agents Online Training Course available to help prepare for if and when there is an outbreak of an Emergency Animal Disease in Australia, such as Foot and Mouth Disease. The course has been developed under the direction of WoolProducers Australia and SheepProducers Australia with funding from Animal Health Australia. The course is designed to inform and train wool and livestock selling agents about how to recognise and respond to a suspected Emergency…

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The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia


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