Australian wool prices have lifted from the lows recorded in early September 2020, resulting in an improvement in the historical ranking of current prices. The EMI in A$ has lifted to the 80th percentile, up from the 64th percentile in October 2020. That is, current prices are higher than 80 percent of prices since 2000. This shows how well the recovery is tracking and that current prices are relatively good, even though they are still well below the heights of 2116 Ac/kg reached in August 2018. In percentile terms, the EMI in US$ has lifted by more. In October it had fallen to the 47th percentile after peaking at the 100th percentile in August 2018. It is up 76th percentile this week.
The current level is quite remarkable given that economic and retail conditions are still struggling in most of the major wool consuming countries which are battling to bring the latest wave of COVID infections under control. It reflects the hoped-for-improvement as vaccines are rolled out around the world, rather than the current reality.
The changes in the EMI masks some significant differences for the various micron categories. The distributions show that the prices for Merino wool are at the 60th percentile and higher. For fine and superfine wool (as indicated by the 18 micron and 19 micron price guides), prices are now sitting at around the 80% percentile in both A$ and US$, while prices for medium Merino wool (as indicated by the 21 micron price guide) are at around the 60th percentile. The picture is very different for Crossbred wool where current prices are at the 55th percentile or even much lower for broad Crossbred wool. The 32 micron price guide is down to the 3rd percentile in A$ terms and the 6th percentile in US$, which is an improvement on the 1st percentile levels in October 2020, but still very low historically.
Further details including 16 charts shows the price distribution and the frequencies for the EMI and selected micron price guides in A$ and US$ since 2000, are provided in this week’s edition of the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter. Available to NCWSBA Members.