There has been a major divergence between Merino and Crossbred wool prices in recent months due to very different demand trends for Merino versus Crossbred wool. This is highlighted by the different performance of wool exports from Australia and South Africa, compared with exports from New Zealand and Uruguay. The vast majority of Australia’s and South Africa’s wool production and exports is Merino wool while New Zealand mainly produces and exports Crossbred wool while Uruguay mainly produces and exports Corriedale wool (of 26 to 30 microns).
The volume of wool exports from Australia and South Africa has increased in the 2016/17 season to January, by 9% and 6% respectively. At the same time, New Zealand’s and Uruguay’s exports have dropped by 17% and 14% respectively. Both of these countries have seen their exports to China dive, with NZ wool exports to China down by 37% and Uruguay’s wool exports down by 41%. In contrast Australia’s exports to China are up by 17% and South Africa wool exports to China are 13% higher. Argentina’s exports are also up substantially. In part this is due to strong demand for the Merino wool which Argentina produces but Argentine wool exports have also been helped by a 10% rebate that the Argentine Government are paying on exports of wool top.
Full details including a chart showing wool exports by the five major exporting countries in the 2017/17 season to January compared with the previous five seasons is included in the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter for the week ending 17th March 2017. Available to NCWSBA members.