The fraught and disheartening 2019/20 season is drawing to a close. The season was a confidence-shattering disappointment after the two previous seasons in which prices rose sharply and hit record high levels, with the EMI averaging 1739 c/kg in 2017/18 and 1939 c/kg in 2018/19. Overall, the EMI fell by 605 c/kg from the close of the 2018/19 season to the close of the 2019/20 season, a 35% decline. It was also lower by 430 UScents/kg (-36%), 375 €cents/kg (-36%) and 2801 RMB/kg (-34%). All the regional indicators saw significant falls, with the Northern Market Indicator down by 571 c/kg, the Southern Market Indicator 627 c/kg lower and the Western Market Indicator down the most, falling by 656 c/kg. The EMI averaged 1448 c/kg for the season, down significantly from the average in 2018/19 and in 2017/18, but above the average for all seasons prior to 2017/18 (including the 1987/88 and 1988/89 seasons, albeit only in nominal terms).
All the AWEX Micron Price Guides fell over the 2019/20 season, with crossbred wool prices falling the most, down by as much as 57%.
The fall in wool prices is not surprising given the tremendously negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and on the wool textile processing industry. The COVID-19 pandemic and the huge economic hit has affected the prices of many commodities, including textile fibres, and prices for the other major textile fibres fell in 2019/20. However, wool prices fell by a larger % than did the prices for cotton, acrylic, polyester and viscose. Of course, wool prices lifted by more than the prices for other fibres in 2017/18 and had further to fall.
Further details, including a chart showing the % change in wool, cotton, polyester, acrylic and viscose fibres, are provided in the full edition of the Weekly Newsletter. Available to NCWSBA members.