News Flash

The Australian wool market carries on amid COVID-19 turmoil

30 March 2020
Australian wool auctions continued this week in all three selling centres, with new locations for auction rooms in Melbourne and Fremantle as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The auction rooms have been moved to the showfloor and elsewhere in the selling centre complex to ensure that the Government’s social distancing rules are adhered to. The auction rooms in Sydney will change location next week. Room breaks are more frequent, and lunchbreaks have been extended. Brokers, buyer, growers…

NCWSBA Members and Guests Celebrate the NCWSBA Centenary

11 March 2020
NCWSBA celebrated its Centenary on 20th February with 2 auctions and a reception. The NCWSBA Centenary Wool Auction was held at the Peter Calvo Auditorium of the Australian Institute of Music in King St, Melbourne. It was a great event with Melbourne buyers out in force to support and bid for the 200 lots on offer. We also had a large number of growers, broking staff, industry people and others observing the auction, both at the back of the auction floor and in the mezzanine viewing area. The…

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…

Industry News

Decline in weight of wool tested eases in March

06 April 2020
AWTA last week released the data on wool tested in March. It shows that the weight of wool tested in March fell by 3.9% compared with March 2019. As a result, the year-on-year change for the first three quarters of 2019/20 was a decline of 5.5%. This year-on-year decline continues to be smaller than the Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee’s November 2019 forecast of a 9.2% drop in 2019/20. The Committee’s forecast anticipated a larger decline for New South Wales than has actually…

Wool price relativity against other fibres falls back

30 March 2020
While wool prices have fallen sharply in US$ over the past 4 weeks (despite the lift this week), prices for cotton have also fallen abruptly. Since the start of March, the Eastern Market Indicator is down by 19% while the CotLook A index is also down by 19%. Prices for synthetic fibres seem to have fallen by less (although full March data is not yet available). As a result of the changes in prices for wool and other fibres, the wool price ratio against cotton and synthetics has fallen back in…

Covid-19 and risk mitigation actions hit retail sales in China

23 March 2020
Life is starting to return to ‘normal’ in China after the Covid-19 epidemic there. This ‘normal’ life includes mandated requirements to wear masks in public and in offices, no air conditioners and regular and constant temperature checking of everybody as they move around the cities. As well, mills are coming back into production. This is good news and hopefully will bring increased orders from mills keen for raw wool. However, elsewhere around the world we are seeing the opposite as cities,…

National Auction Selling Committee arrangements for auctions - Covid-19 at 23rd March 2020

23 March 2020
A Working Group of the National Auction Wool Selling Committee which meets daily at 8am AEDT to discuss developments and the situation with COVID-19 as it affects the Australian wool auctions. NASC has implemented recommendations from the Working Group in risk mitigation for the Sale rooms, including the location of sale rooms, personal and equipment hygiene, social distancing and restricting access to essential personnel from brokers, buyers and support staff. Specifically these include…

Oil prices fall sharply but general commodity prices only moderately affected

16 March 2020
While wool prices have pulled back in the past few weeks, this is nothing on the decline in oil prices which dropped by 30% this week alone, driven lower both by the Covid-19 pandemic and a refusal by Russia to limit supplies. The plunge in oil prices has pushed prices below the low of January 2019, although oil prices remain well above the levels at the start of 2016. So far, prices for other commodities such as metals and food have not fallen much, although they have eased back. That may well…

Lower volumes of superfine wool tested for 2019/20 season to date

11 March 2020
The latest data from AWTA shows a sharp fall in the volume of wool tested in February compared with February 2019, for Australia and for each state. Overall, the weight of wool tested in Australia fell by 10.3% in February. For the 8 months of this season to February, the weight of wool tested was 5.7% lower than for the same period in 2018/19. There were some very large declines by state in February based on Wool Statistical Area data, led by a 32% drop in wool tested in Tasmania (albeit one…

Average premiums for Non-Mulesed wool remain strong

02 March 2020
AWEX has provided updated results on the average price differences paid in the 2019/20 season to the end of January for wool with the various mulesing statuses. The data shows that the average premiums paid for non-mulesed Merino wool at auction in the July 2019 to January 2020 period remained high. The highest statistically sound premium was paid for 16 micron wool at 99 cents/kg, but the premiums for wool from 20 micron and finer were all above 40 c/kg. The premiums for 17 and 18 micron wool…

Slump in US imports of wool clothing from China due to penalty import duties

17 February 2020
The Covid-19 outbreak isn’t the only challenge that the wool textile industry in China is facing. The industry is also dealing with the impact of the additional 15% import tariffs imposed by the US on imports of wool apparel from China in September. After a sharp decline in imports of wool clothing from China by the US, this decline continued in October and November. The quantity of US imports of wool clothing from China slumped by 44% year-on-year in October and by a further 34% in November.…

Weight of wool tested down by 5% to end January

17 February 2020
At the start of February, AWTA released the data on wool tested in January. It shows that after the unexpected year-on-year 15% jump in December, the weight of wool tested was lower than year earlier levels in January. However, the year-on-year decline of 4.3% for the month was a much smaller decline than seen between July and September 2019. As a result, the weight of wool tested for the seven months July to January was 5% lower than for the same period in 2018/19. This year-on-year decline is…


NCWSBA Wool Broker Award now open for 2020

06 April 2020
The NCWSBA Wool Broker Award for 2020 has been launched! This is the ninth year the Award has been offered. This year’s Award is again sponsored by AWTA (as the industry sponsor) and Sheep Central (as the media sponsor). The Award recognises excellence in wool broking by a younger member of our industry – be it client servicing, auctioneering, innovation or other aspects of wool broking. This year’s Award winner will be granted an all-expenses paid trip to Kyoto, Japan to attend the 2021 IWTO…

NCWSBA Celebrates its Centenary

17 February 2020
More than 200 hundred people will come together this week to celebrate the centenary of the National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia. The centenary will be marked by the NCWSBA Centenary Auction to be held on Thursday, 20th February 2020, which will be followed by a cocktail reception featuring a charity auction in support of the Michael Manion Wool Industry Foundation. President of the NCWSBA, John Colley, said “The Australian wool industry is an iconic part of Australia’s history…

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…

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