News Flash

Australian wool production to lift a little in 2017/18

15 December 2017
The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC) has revised its forecast of shorn wool production for the 2017/18 season upwards to 345 million kilograms greasy, a 1.4% increase on its final estimate of 340 mkg for the 2016/17 season. The increase in shorn wool production in 2017/18 reflects an increase the number of sheep shorn as producers respond to the high wool prices. This will be partly offset by a small fall in the average wool cut per head due to drier seasonal conditions…

NCWSBA celebrates the history of wool broking in Australia

30 November 2017
The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia today opened its inaugural wool broking industry historical display at the Melbourne Wool Selling Centre. The permanent display celebrates the history of the wool broking industry in Australia. 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 that history and the industry’s contribution to the…

Industry News

Global fibre prices on the rise

15 December 2017
In the past four months, global fibre prices in US$ have mostly lifted steadily, particularly in China. Global cotton prices have risen by 3% but the bigger changes are seen for polyester staple and acrylic. Global polyester staple fibre prices are up 7%, but prices in China are 12% higher. For acrylic fibre, global prices are 9% higher, but in China the price for acrylic fibre is 20% higher than four months ago. While prices for these competing fibres have risen, the price for viscose has…

Another week, another record EMI, but not in real terms

13 November 2017
The EMI rose to a record level at the end of 10th November 2017. This record is, of course, before taking into account inflation. It is therefore a bit illusory, because $1 now is worth less than it was 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 30 years ago. Once inflation is taken into account, current price levels are well below the extraordinary peak seen in mid-1988. In fact, the EMI at 1652 c/kg in real terms is a touch below the peak at the end of 2002. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that all…

World commodity prices on a cyclical upturn and Merino prices leading the way

30 October 2017
Australian Merino wool prices have enjoyed an extended period of high prices, particularly for superfine wool. This lift in Merino wool prices has been in line with a general lift in asset prices (such as equity markets) and the prices of some other commodities. For example, the EMI in US$ is currently up by 20% year-on-year, while The Economist magazine’s Metals Index is up by 32%. The Economist’s All Items Index is up by only 7%, held back by lower food prices. Oil prices are only 3% higher,…

US wool clothing imports fall to decade lows

23 October 2017
US imports of wool clothing were down by 13% in the first eight months of 2017, continuing the decline seeen over the past 20 months. According to the latest available data from the US Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), the US imported a total of 99.1 million square metres of wool clothing in the January-August 2017 period, the lowest for the eight month period since 1993. The total import value for the eight months in 2017 was US$1.76 billion, the lowest total since 2009 when the Global…

Encouraging growth in retail sales of clothing in 2017 to date

16 October 2017
Consumer confidence levels are high in many of the major wool consuming countries so we could hope that consumers are spending more on products, incuding on clothing. The latest data on retail sales of clothing in the key wool consuming countries is mixed but quite encouraging. The latest data on growth rates show that clothing retail sales in the full 2016 year were generally lower than in 2015 and lower than in previous years for a number of countries but clothing retail sales in China,…

Australian wool export value hits 14-year highs

09 October 2017
Australian wool exports have continued to rise strongly in the first two months of 2017/18, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics which was released yesterday. The volume of wool exported was 11% higher in the July-August period compared with the same period in 2016 and the value of exports jumped by 21% year-on-year. Almost all the major export destinations recorded strong lifts, with the exception of South Korea with exports declining. The largest increases in the volume…

ABARES’ bullish forecast for the Australian Wool Industry

02 October 2017
ABARES, the Australian Government’s agricultural commodity forecaster, has released bullish forecasts for the Australian wool industry. It predicts that the value of Australia’s wool exports will lift by 13% to $4.09 billion. If achieved, this will be the largest annual export value for wool since 1994/95. ABARES attributes the sharp increase in the value of Australia’s wool exports to a 3% lift in the volume of wool exports and a 10% increase in the average price paid for wool in 2017/18…

Chinese currency rises against the US$

25 September 2017
In the past, the US$ has been a relatively good guide for movements in the EMI against the Chinese currency, the renminbi, largely because the renminbi is partially pegged to the US$. However, recent currency movements suggest that we may have to rethink that. Since the start of 2017, the renminbi has appreciated by 4.9% to 6.59 yuan/US$ (units of the renminbi are known as yuan). This is less than the 7.3% appreciation seen for the $A against the US$ since January. At the same time, the Euro…

EMI hits record levels against synthetics and cotton

08 September 2017
With the recent lift in prices for Merino wool and a higher A$ against the US%, the EMI has risen by 75 UScents or almost 7% since the start of the season. The EMI is 22% higher in US$ than a year ago. Prices for other fibres have been much less volatile than the prices for wool. Cotton prices have slid since July and remain a little below year earlier levels. Synthetic fibre prices have eased higher since June, although they are 11% higher than a year earlier. As a result of these changes, the…


Winner of the 2016 NCWSBA Broker Award Announced

25 August 2016
The Winner of the 2016 NCWSBA Wool Broker Award was announced at the Wool Week dinner in Melbourne on 25th August. The Winner of the 2016 Award is Lachlan Sutton of Elders. In making their decision, the Selection Panel noted they found the calibre of all three presentations to be excellent. They also found it difficult to separate the finalists and that all would be very worthy winners. The Panel noted that some of the most pleasing aspects from the finalists were: their obvious passion and…

Winner of the 2015 NCWSBA Broker Award Announced

27 August 2015
The winner of the 2015 National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia’s Wool Broker Award to recognise excellence in wool broking in Australia has been announced. Matthew Thomas of Landmark was selected by the independent Selection Panel as the winner. Andrew Howells of Elders and Todd Clark of Schute-Bell were the other two Finalists. The independent Selection Panel made their decision after the three Finalists gave presentations to at the NCWSBA Annual General Meeting held on Thursday,…

National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia



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