HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : September 2017
China-based wool agent Lizzy Shen provides in this article, written especially for Beyond the Bale, her insights into the rising demand for Australian wool by the Chinese manufacturing sector for the wool fake fur market. AN INSIDER’S VIEW ON CHINA 64 MARKET INTELLIGENCE China-based wool agent Lizzy Shen Wool fake fur, the very fabric that has been pushing Australian wool to a higher price level, is doing the same now as it did last summer, but in a more aggressive manner this time. It is as hot as the high temperature throughout China, and nobody can avoid mentioning it when talking about the local wool industry. Some early-bird wooltop makers started booking the greasy wool for wool fake fur from April, but most did not start booking the greasy wool until mid or late May after they received the demand from the related yarn or fabric makers. Many greasy orders were written in May for June/ July shipments. However, the selection of Australian wool began to diminish from June, so the extra demand easily pushed 21.0 micron fleece from under US$11/kg in May to nearly US$12/kg in June and US$12.50/kg in the firstt week of auction after the recess in August. Italians, Indians and Americans cannot understand the sharp price rises. Even those Chinese that keep themselves away from the fake fur market will be equally astonished by the high prices of 21.0–28.8 micron wool. The difference lies in the microns and style that fabric makers use this year. Last year, 19.5 and 21.0 micron played the main role. This year, they are using coarser microns, due to higher wool prices compared to last year. A mill that used 19.5 micron last season is using 21.0 this season; previous 21.0 users now use 22.5. I also came across a fabric maker using purely 26.8 and 28.8 micron, no Merino wool at all. This is the very reason why we see 21.0–28.8 as the hottest microns at auction right after the recess. Last season, hardly anyone used Uruguayan 26.8 micron for the fabric because of its creamy colour, but this year it is acceptable. Consequently, some mills are selling the fabric at a lower price level than last year, hoping more consumers will be able to afford it so as to expand the market. While the production of wool fake fur apparel by the Chinese manufacturing sector is building, wool fake fur was not a huge success in the consumer market last winter. It looked and wore heavy (1kg of wool per coat). It was not widely spread out in the shops of first-line cities in China. However, this year, people are saying the fabric makers have overcome some technical problems, thus making better fabrics which should enjoy a better market this coming winter. Based on that prediction, some mills who made money from it last year are doubling their quantity this year. Those that failed to make any profit have gone back to concentrate on their profitable fabrics, for example, double face. There are also garment mills who did not touch this fabric last year. They may have heard some others have made money, so they are starting to operate on this fabric now. The big population in China can always help the manufacturers to develop a new product if it can meet the needs of consumers and create fashion. The new fabric has definitely brought higher profits to Australian farmers. Here in China, it has also brought a fortune to silk-lustre superwashing mills. Traditionally, those mills suffer a low season in July/August/ September. Now with wool fake fur business, they are quite busy in these months. A client has to queue for more than one month to get his wooltops superwashed. A mill owner said he has never had such a good business in superwash in all his lifetime. Another mill owner told me his two superwash lines are making more profit than thirty top combing lines this summer, both on a commission processing basis. Whether wool fake fur will perform well in the consumer market is still a question mark. We will not know until October when north China becomes cold enough. If it is no worse than last year, it will continue to survive next year. A friend of mine said she will book 1000mt of 26.8 micron when she sees US$6.30 again (right now US$8.50), but I don’t think she will see it within two years. An example of wool fake fur apparel in China. woolnetwork.com.au More value More opportunities More pride Don’t you deserve to experience more of the best in wool marketing, wool buying, wool manufacturing and wool retailing? PROUDLY 100% AUSTRALIAN OWNED Australia’s best. More of Australia’s best woolgrowers are receiving more for their wool by working with AWN. Proudly making and retailing these wool clothing brands using our clients’ wool: MerinoSnug • Hedrena • Only Merino Scan the QR code to contact an AWN Wool Specialist today. AD-BTB817 AD-BTB817-AWN BeyondTheBale.indd 1 15/08/2017 3:53 PM
In the Shops - September 2017