While the Australian wool market has been in an hiatus, the cotton and synthetic fibre markets have continued to operate around the world. Cotton prices, as measured by the CotLook A Index has lifted a little over the past month and polyester staple fibre prices and viscose prices have also risen. Acrylic fibre prices, on the other hand, have eased.
Where does this leave wool’s price relativity with these other fibres? The price relativity for 18 micron wool is at or close to record levels against these other fibres. Against synthetic fibres, 18 micron wool is at 8.60, a little below the record 8.92 reached in March but still the second highest ever. Against cotton, the ratio is at 8.62, a shade below the record 8.66 reached in March.
For 21 micron wool, the price relativity has increased in the past few months, and remains at high, but not extreme, levels. Compared with synthetic fibres, the price relativity of 21 micron wool is at 6.30, higher than at any time since January and at relativity high levels compared with the price ratios since 2010. The 21 micron price is 6.31 times the price of cotton, the highest since August 2016 but below the heights seen at various times in the past seven years. As can be seen from the charts, 28 micron wool has been at relative lows compared with both synthetics and cotton, but have seen an increase recently. It is currently at 2.66 times the synthetic fibre price and 3.15 times the price of cotton. This relatively low price ratio may help boost demand for this broader wool.
Full details including charts showing the price relativity for 18 micron, 21 micron and 28 micron wool cpmpared with cotton and synthetics are included in the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter for the week ending 4th August 2017. Available to NCWSBA members.