In addition to a lift in fine wool prices, there has been a general rise in the price for industrial commodities (that is, non-food) in the past 12-18 months. Prices for metals, oil and fibres have all lifted since the start of 2016 (the chart shows prices indexed with January 2016 as the base). Since January 2016, Australian wool prices are up by around 50%, much the same as the lift in metals prices. This is a very impressive lift, but the most significant rise is in oil prices, which have almost doubled since January 2016. Prices for other fibres have also lifted in the past two years, with acrylic prices up by 30% and cotton prices up 25%. Polyester staple fibre prices are only 15% higher. In contrast, food prices have languished, and are barely higher than they were in January 2016. This is largely because grain prices have struggled under the weight of increased production and rising stocks.
Further details including a chart showing the trends in commodity prices as well as fibre prices are available in the full edition of the NCWSBA's Weekly Newsletter. Available to NCWSBA members.