Data on Australian wool exports for February from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the volume of wool exports declined by 10% in February, but the value of exports lifted by 1% for the month compared with a year earlier.
For the 2016/17 season to date, Australia’s wool exports were 6% higher by weight and 12% higher by value than for the same period in the 2015/16 season. The main reason for the increase in weight terms is a 13% increase in exports to China.
In terms of exports by micron category, there is a clear split between the results for Merino wool (19 micron & finer and 20-23 micron) and Crossbred-type wool (24-27 micron and 28 micron & broader). The value of exports for both 19 micron & finer and 20-23 micron wool has lifted this season, led by a 27% increase in the value of exports of 20-23 micron wool. The value of exports of 20-23 micron wool is at the highest level since the 2006/07 season. Despite the 4% drop in the volume of exports of 19 micron & finer wool, the value of exports of this wool has increased by 6% and is at the highest ever recorded for the July to February period. In contrast to this strong lift in exports for Merino wool, the value of exports of 24-27 micron and 28 micron & broader wool has fallen sharply this season – down by 28% and 43% respectively to the lowest level for the July to February period since the 2003/04 season. This reflects the parlous state of demand for this wool.
Full details, including a chart showing the data on Australian wool exports in both value and volume terms for 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 to February, are included in the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter for the week ending 13th April 2017. Available to NCWSBA members.