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 declined by 5% Over the same period, the EMI is 5% higher in US$ terms (although it is 10% higher in A$ terms). Superfine wool (18 micron) prices are around 2% higher, but the price for ultrafine wool (16.5 micron) is 9% higher. The price for 21 micron wool is up just 1%, while the 28 micron price is 10% lower. As a result of these changes, the wool’s price relativity against synthetics has slid in the past four months. Nevertheless, the price relativity for superfine against synthetics remains at very high levels, as does 21 micron wool. The price ratio for broader wool (28 micron) has fallen back to 3 year lows. Against cotton, Merino wool’s price relativity has also dipped from the peaks seen in in August. For the broader wool, the price relativity has fallen, but only back to the levels earlier this year.
Full details including a chart showing the trends in the price relativity for 18 micron, 21 micron and 28 micron wool against synthetics and cotton starting in 2010 is included in the full Weekly Newsletter, available to NCWSBA members.