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Beyond the Bale : June 2018
POSITIVE TRENDS FOR ALL MICRONS Superfine (<18.5 micron) wool prices have seen considerable growth this season as demand has set in for these wool types as the new next to skin market opens up competition with Italian mills who are keen to secure a superfine wool supply for more traditional purposes. Monthly average prices for 16.5 micron have lifted 680ac/kg clean in 12 months, while 17 and 18 microns have rallied 502ac/kg and 216ac/kg clean respectively. Last season superfine prices produced almost 32% of our AU$3.4 billion clip value while accounting for around 24% of the wool produced. Fine wool prices (19-21 microns) have also performed well over the past 12 months. While not receiving the same gains of the MARKET INTELLIGENCE REPORT It has so far been a continuation of solidarity for woolgrowers over the past nine months as prices build on last season’s progress, and production has remained steady despite some tough seasonal conditions over recent months. superfine section, it is worth considering that this bracket is where the bulk of the Australian wool clip is captured. Prices for 19, 20 and 21 microns all rose between 200-400ac/kg clean in 12 months, on the back of previous season price rallies. Last season 46% of Australia’s wool clip was between 18.5 and 21.5 microns, illustrating how demand is still outweighing our largest wool supply and pulling it through the pipeline. Medium wools have also been in high demand, particularly in recent months which has seen the 22 and 23 microns prices jump from 1407ac/kg and 1368 ac/kg in March 2017 to 1850ac/kg (+447ac) and 1798 ac/kg (+430ac) 12 months later. This is a result that exemplifies that the recent demand in not just for the finer micron types but for all of our Merino types. Crossbred wools have remained steady, particularly the broader end, however 26 micron wools have also been caught in the increasing fibre demand, lifting 169ac/kg over 12 months. While crossbred prices have remained relatively unchanged, pressures from a large wool supply due to high lamb prices have meant current prices levels are a good result for the producer who can receive both incomes. With supply predicted to remain at similar levels for season 2017/18, and with demand staying firm, there is little reason that prices cannot too. 5 YEAR PRODUCTION COMPARISON VALUE 2013-2018 $12.00 $11.00 $14.00 $13.00 $15.00 $16.00 $17.00 $19.00 $18.00 $20.00 $21.00 $22.00 $27.00 $25.00 $26.00 $24.00 $23.00 $28.00 $10.00 $8.00 $9.00 $5.00 $6.00 $7.00 May 2018 May 2013 May 2015 May 2014 May 2016 May 2017 Nov 2013 Nov 2015 Nov 2014 Nov 2016 Nov 2017 17μm 19μm 28μm 21μm Linear (17μm) Linear (19μm) Linear (21μm) Linear (28μm) MARKET INTELLIGENCE 67