Wool prices rise to new heights

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - NEWS -

WOOL prices have risen to highs not seen in Aus­tralia in decades due to grow­ing ex­port de­mand and lim­ited sup­ply, ac­cord­ing to Ru­ral Bank’s 2017 Aus­tralian Wool An­nual Re­view.

Stronger de­mand from pro­ces­sors and re­duced sup­ply saw the Eastern Mar­ket In­di­ca­tor (EMI) rise by 10 per cent to 1507 cents/kg in the first half of 2017, while the 17 mi­cron price guide rose 45 per cent over the past 12 months.

Wool prices are ex­pected to re­main strong in 2017/18, par­tic­u­larly for fine to medium wool cat­e­gories, sup­ported by grow­ing ex­port de­mand and lim­ited, al­beit now grow­ing, sup­ply from Aus­tralia.

The new re­port, launched by spe­cial­ist in­sights team Ag An­swers, pro­vides pro­duc­ers and in­dus­try with a con­cise anal­y­sis of the Aus­tralian and global wool sec­tor.

The re­port also re­vealed re­duced wool ex­ports from ma­jor pro­duc­ers such as New Zealand, which will see Aus­tralian wool grow­ers well po­si­tioned to en­joy the rare con­di­tions of in­creas­ing pro­duc­tion lev­els and higher prices.

After al­most 20 years of de­clin­ing shorn wool pro­duc­tion, the 2015/16 fi­nan­cial year ap­pears to have marked the turn­ing point, with shorn wool pro­duc­tion ex­pected to reach 341,000 tonnes of greasy wool in 2016/17, an in­crease of five per cent when com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year.

An­drew Smith, gen­eral man­ager Agribusi­ness for Ru­ral Bank, said in­creased wool pro­duc­tion was largely driven by the ex­pand­ing na­tional flock, set to rise by four per cent to 76.6 mil­lion head by June 2018.

“All states, ex­cept for Tas­ma­nia, ex­pe­ri­enced higher pro­duc­tion lev­els, with favourable sea­sonal con­di­tions boost­ing fleece weights for pro­duc­ers in the north­ern re­gions and West­ern Aus­tralia.

“Wool grow­ers are very keen to hold sheep – par­tic­u­larly wethers, with some pro­duc­ers ex­pe­ri­enc­ing gains in wool pro­duc­tion per head due to shear­ing on a more fre­quent ba­sis.”

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