Wool prices in US$ terms have been quite stable in the past six months, on a rising trend. It is interesting to compare the volatility of wool prices recently with both previous years and with the volatility for other textile fibre prices.
There are two key points to note in the trends in fibre prices since 2001.
First of all is the reduced volatility in prices since around the start of 2013. Prior to this the year-on-year change in fibre prices was +/- 30% or so, with some extremes of over 100%, notably in 2011-2012. Since 2013, the year-on-year change has been more muted and not much more than 20%.
A second, and probably related, point to note is that in general since 2013 there have been more and larger negative year-on-year changes in competing fibre prices than there have been positive changes. These two trends may be due to a combination of a period of subdued world economic growth since 2013 and record levels of cotton stocks and excess synthetic fibre capacity.
Full details including a chart showing the trends in textile fibre prices since 2001 is included in the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter for the week ending 2nd September 2016, available to NCWSBA members.