While Merino wool prices have risen throughout 2018, prices for competing fibres have been more variable, with prices for cotton and viscose falling but polyester and acrylic prices on the rise. This has changed the price relativity for wool prices against these other fibres. There has been a steady lift in the ratio for 21 micron wool against cotton to a record level of 8.16. For 18 micron wool, the price ratio against cotton has risen to 9.68, just shy of the record of 9.78 set on November last year. For cross-bred wool of 28 micron wool, the ratio is at 3.47, well below the levels seen in 2015.
For synthetic fibres, the price ratio for 21 micron wool has slipped back in the past two months from the record level of 8.01 as synthetic fibre prices have lifted on the back of higher oil prices. The price ratio for 18 micron wool has fallen well back since the peak in January, but remains historically high. The crossbred wool ratio against synthetics is also lower in recent months.
Further details, including a chart showing the trends in wool’s prices relativity with synthetic fibres and with cotton are contained within the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter for the week ending 28th September 2018, available to NCWSBA members.