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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

Australian wool tests at decades low in first half of 2020/21

18 January 2021
There has been the usual set of data on the Australian industry released over the recess period, including the wool test statistics for December and statistics on mulesing status from the National Wool Declaration. The AWTA data on wool tested in December shows that the volumes of wool tested fell compared with December 2019. The weight of wool tested was 4% lower for the month, while the number of bales tested was 4.2% lower. There were mixed results between states, with the weight of wool…

First half of the 2020/21 season in review

21 December 2020
The first half of the 2020/21 season saw a small decline in auction offerings of Australian wool, down by 1.2% to 701,338 bales. Remarkably in light of the COVID-19 restrictions and low prices, the volume of Australian wool sold at auction lifted by 2.0% to 615,086 bales. The pass-in rate for the first six months of the season was 12.8%, compared with a pass-in rate of 15.3% in the first half of the 2019/20 season. While prices have in general fallen significantly compared with this time last…

Wool’s price relativity with competing fibres well down on peaks

14 December 2020
As reported in the Weekly Newsletter on 27th November, prices for cotton and synthetic fibres have risen by more than wool prices in the past few months. This trend has continued in the past fortnight, with cotton and synthetic fibre prices rising again this week. As a result, Australian wool’s price competitiveness has improved significantly since the start of 2020. The ratio of the EMI to cotton price has fallen from an all-time peak of 7.92 in February 2019 to 6.32 in February 2020 and is…

AWTA test volumes down, production outlook obscured by weather, stock holding & shearing delays

07 December 2020
The latest AWTA test data shows that wool tested continues to track below the levels of a year ago. The weight of wool tested by AWTA in November was down by 7.2% compared with November 2019. At just 27.2 mkg greasy, the weight of wool tested last month is the lowest monthly total for November in the past 2 decades at least and almost certainly much longer. As noted by NCWSBA President, Rowan Woods, at the IWTO Roundtable on Tuesday evening, shearing has been slowed by wet weather in some areas…

Sharp drop in US imports of wool clothing a concern

30 November 2020
In last week’s edition I reviewed the latest on consumer confidence and clothing retail sales in the major wool consuming markets. I noted that consumer confidence in the US had improved from the COVID-induced depths in April. As well, clothing retail sales in the US were showing tentative signs of a revival. This is important as we are now into the start of the Autumn/Winter season in the US, which is a key selling period for wool clothing. The question is, how are the supplies of wool…

Tentative signs of higher retail sales as consumer’s become a little more confident

23 November 2020
We are into the second month of the Autumn/Winter retail season in the Northern Hemisphere, a critical season for sales of wool clothing. Given what has happened this year with the awful toll of COVID-19 and the associated restrictions and now the second wave of infections rising in Europe, the US and, to a lesser extent, Japan, it is time to take stock on how consumer confidence and retail sales are shaping up in the major wool consuming countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Consumer…

Higher volume of medium Merino wool despite drop in total wool tested

16 November 2020
The weight of wool tested by AWTA in October was down by 18%. This large drop continues the yo-yoing seen in the weight of wool tested so far this season, after a lift in September which was preceded by falls in July and August. The drop in October seems to be in part due to wet weather holding up shearing in some areas. As well, there are reports of a shortage of shearers and shed-hands due to restrictions on travel across state borders and from New Zealand. For the season to date, the weight…

Global cotton stocks lift to 95% of annual use

16 November 2020
Cotton prices, as judged by the CotLook A Index (a global benchmark indicator for cotton), have recovered strongly since the COVID-induced slump in March-April this year. After hitting a low of 60.75 USc/lb (133.9 USc/kg) in the first week of April, the CotLook A index has lifted by 28% to 76.7 USc/b (169.06 USc/kg) by the end of October. Even so, this is well below the average of 88.2 USc/lb (194.40 USc/kg) over the past decade. Cotton prices have recovered in recent months due to better mill…

Merino wool prices at 60th percentile despite falls

19 October 2020
Australian wool prices have fallen sharply in the past 12 months, even after the recovery in recent weeks. The largest declines have been for crossbred wool, particularly at the broad end. Where does that leave prices in historical terms? The EMI in A$ has fallen to the 64th percentile, down from the 89th percentile a year ago That is, current prices are higher than 64 percent of prices since 2000. So, while prices are substantially lower than 12 months ago (and even more compared with 2 years…

NCWSBA News

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…

NCWSBA Wool Broker Award now open for 2020

06 April 2020
The NCWSBA Wool Broker Award for 2020 has been launched! This is the ninth year the Award has been offered. This year’s Award is again sponsored by AWTA (as the industry sponsor) and Sheep Central (as the media sponsor). The Award recognises excellence in wool broking by a younger member of our industry – be it client servicing, auctioneering, innovation or other aspects of wool broking. This year’s Award winner will be granted an all-expenses paid trip to Kyoto, Japan to attend the 2021 IWTO…

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