The premiums for non-mulesed Merino wool jumped in the first quarter of the 2018/19 season to more than 100 cents, according to data and analysis from AWEX. This confirms the anecdotal reports from buyers about the continued very strong demand for non-mulesed wool this season, even as wool prices in general have fallen back.
The premiums for non-mulesed wool over equivalent mulesed wool averaged as much as 108 cents/kg for Merino wool in the first three months of the 2019/20 season to September. By micron, non-mulesed 16 micron wool attracted the highest premium of 108 cents/kg, while non-mulesed 19 micron wool saw a premium of 83 cents. Non-mulesed wool of 17, 18, 20 and 21 micron wool attracted premiums of 57 cents, 71 cents, 61 cents and 23 cents respectively for each kilogram. These are statistically sound estimates by AWEX, although some caution is required as wool volumes offered and sold at auction in the first quarter were much lower than 12 months ago. There was insufficient data for AWEX to report on the results for 22 micron wool.
John Colley, President of NCWSBA, said “These premiums are far higher than those recorded for the full 2018/19 season. For example, in 2018/19 the premium for non-mulesed 16 micron wool attracted a premium of 47 cents/kg, while non-mulesed wool of 19 microns saw a premium of 38 cents/kg. These increased premiums demonstrate the strong demand for non-mulesed Australian wool this season.”
“These far greater premiums for non-mulesed wool come at the same time that prices for Merino wool have fallen sharply and have been extremely volatile this season. Prices for Merino wool of between 16.5 micron and 21 micron have dropped by 229 to 359 cents/kg from the start of the season to 18th October. As well, prices for Merino wool have been more volatile than at any time in the past 20 years or more. Buyers report that demand and prices for non-mulesed wool have been better than for other wool this season.”
“NCWSBA believes that all Australian wool producers should be aware of the substantial premiums for non-mulesed wool, which reflects the clear demand signals from the global wool textile industry. This should help Australian wool producers in their management decisions about mulesing.”
Full details are given in the Media Release.