News Flash

Very good seasonal conditions see Australian wool production stabilise

21 December 2020
The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee met on Wednesday, 16th December 2020 to review its forecast of shorn wool production for the 2020/21 season. The new forecasts were released on Froday, 18th December. The very good seasonal conditions in large parts of eastern Australia has seen the Committee lift its forecast for this season on the back of better-than-expected fleece weights. The Committee noted that dry conditions have persisted in Queensland and Western Australia, although…

NCWSBA Wool Broker Award Suspended for 2020

30 November 2020
Earlier this year, the NCWSBA Board postponed the 2020 NCWSBA Wool Broker Award until later in 2020 in the hope that we could hold a face-to-face event at which the Finalists could give a presentation in support of their applications to the Award Selection Panel, the NCWSBA Board and NCWSBA members who were in attendance. However, the continued COVID-19 restrictions, notably the continued travel restrictions between states, have made it impossible to hold such an event this year. The NCWSBA…

Industry News

Improvement in wool prices lagging that for competing fibres

29 March 2021
Compared with a year ago, Australian wool prices are slightly lower in A$ terms, but are higher in US$, Euro and Renminbi. Against the US$, current prices are 25% higher than at the end of March 2020. What has happened to wool prices in some of the other major wool producing countries? In South Africa, prices have followed a similar trend to that seen for Australia. The South African 21 micron wool indicator recovered from the lows seen in September and have improved a little more in the past…

Clothing retail sales in China jump, sales weak in other countries

22 March 2021
Consumer confidence in Europe, the US and the UK remain low. There is little sign of recovery in these regions. In contrast, consumer confidence has recovered to levels seen prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in China and South Korea. It has recovered in Japan but remains below year earlier levels. These weak consumer confidence levels translated into poor retail sales of clothing in many countries over the recently completed Autumn/Winter season in the Northern Hemisphere. As I have reported in…

Value of Australian wool exports hit near 40-year low

18 March 2021
The latest Australian wool export statistics shows that Australia’s wool exports fell in January 2021 compared with the year earlier, down by 20% in volume terms and by 35% in value terms. In volume terms, exports to China were down by 19% year-on-year while exports to five other top ten destinations were also lower. For the 2020/21 season to January, Australia’s exports by volume were steady compared with the same seven months in the 2019/20 season, up by a very slight 0.3% to 137.2 mkg…

Sharp jump in AWTA wool tests in February

11 March 2021
AWTA released the wool test statistics for February on 1st March and these show that the weight of wool tested jumped by 16% in February compared with February 2020. As a result, for the 2020/21 season to end February, the weight of wool tested was 4.9% below year earlier levels. If this trend pf year-on-year increases continues, the AWPFC’s forecast of a 1.1% increase in shorn wool production for the 2020/21 season will be within reach. All states with the exception of Western Australia (WA)…

Current superfine wool prices at 80th percentile, broad wool prices near lows

01 March 2021
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…

Price premiums for superfine wool at multi-year highs

22 February 2021
Since the start of 2021, the prices for superfine wool (18.5 micron and finer) have risen more quickly than prices for medium Merino wool (21-24 micron), continuing the trend seen in the second half of 2020. This has changed the price differentials between a selection of microns compared with 21 micron wool. The premiums paid for superfine wool over medium Merino wool have lifted since mid-2019, with a very strong rise in the premiums for both 16.5 micron wool and 18 micron wool in 2020 and in…

Australian wool export volumes lift in first half of 2020/21 due to sharp jump in exports to China

15 February 2021
The latest data from Australian Bureau of Statistics on Australia’s wool exports shows that the volume of exports lifted sharply in December, by 38% year-on-year. But the value of wool exports fell, by 29%. The lift in the volume of exports was due almost entirely to a 61% jump in the volume of wool exports to China. Exports to almost all of the other top 10 destinations recorded significant declines for the month. In value terms, exports to China lifted by 28% year-on-year for the month, while…

Over three-quarters of farm bales at auction have a National Wool Declaration

08 February 2021
According to the latest data from AWEX, there was a 7% lift in the number of first-hand farm bales offered at auction with a National Wool Declaration (NWD) this season between July 2020 to January 2021. At the same time, there was an 11% decline in the number of bales offered at auction that did not have a declaration. As result, 75.9% of all first-hand farm bales offered at auction this season had a declaration (which includes blank or mulesed declarations). This is an increase on the 73.8%…

US imports of men’s wool wovenwear slump in 2020

01 February 2021
US imports of wool clothing has dropped sharply in the July to November period this year, led by a slump in imports of men’s wool wovenwear. For wool clothing, around 65% of the annual US imports of wool clothing is imported between July and November each year. This allows retailers to have wool clothing product available for the peak demand period in Autumn/Winter, between October and January each year. The data on US imports for the July-November period this year shows a sharp drop in US…


Chris Wilcox to retire as NCWSBA Executive Director

11 March 2021
The current Executive Director of the National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia, Chris Wilcox has announced that he will retire as Executive Director on 30th April 2021. Chris has been NCWSBA’s Executive Director since March 2008. Rowan Woods, President of NCWSBA, said “Chris has been the driving force for NCWSBA on the many issues that the industry has faced in the 13 years he has held the position of Executive Director, ensuring that the views of our members are heard loudly and…

NCWSBA President's 2019/20 Report - A Year of Turmoil

31 August 2020
It is with very mixed emotions that I deliver to you the President’s report for the last 12 months. It has been a year of turmoil, that continues to evolve on a day by day basis as I write this report. Our beloved wool industry continues to be smashed on all sides. To believe we survived drought, fires and floods, only to be confronted by COVID – 19 really put the icing on the cake. 2020 will long be remembered, for all the wrong reasons. Wool is basically totally discretionary spend and with…

Rowan Woods appointed as NCWSBA President, Stephen Keys as NCWSBA Vice President

31 August 2020
The NCWSBA Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday, 27th August, followed by a meeting of the NCWSBA Board. It was a very different event compared with the event in past years. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the meeting was held as a Zoom videoconference and the AGM was restricted to the business of the AGM. Unlike previous years, there was no updates from AWTA, AWEX and AWI, nor did we have presentations by the Finalists for the NCWSBA Wool Broker Award (the Award has been postponed to…

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The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia


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