Wool mar­ket: Su­perfine pre­mi­ums shrink as medium vol­umes fall

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Livestock - PHOTO: FILE Ni­cola Bell news@ru­ral­weekly.com.au

SU­PERFINE wool grow­ers have been re­ceiv­ing some of their high­est prices in 20 years this year, ac­cord­ing to mi­cron price guide data.

How­ever, some grow­ers be­lieve prices are the same as they were 30 years ago, in the peak of the 1980s – the mi­cron price guide in­for­ma­tion does not go back that far so it is dif­fi­cult to com­pare.

But the dif­fer­ence in the pre­mium be­tween su­perfine cat­e­gories and fine to medium cat­e­gories has shrunk.

Last week there was just

376c/kg dif­fer­ence be­tween the 17 mi­cron south­ern re­gional in­di­ca­tor at

2700c/kg and the 19 mi­cron in­di­ca­tor at 2324c/kg.

If the mi­crons were widened out, there was only a 560c/kg pre­mium for 16.5 mi­cron wool in the south at 2763c/kg, over 22 mi­cron wool at


How­ever, it was in a week when the wool mar­ket fell, with the dif­fer­ence be­tween

16.5 and 22 mi­cron wool the pre­vi­ous week at 620c/kg.

Ac­cord­ing to data from the Aus­tralian Wool Ex­change, the

17 mi­cron in­di­ca­tor hit a high of 3006c/kg in Au­gust this year .

That is its high­est level since prices have been recorded by the Aus­tralian Wool Ex­change in 1998.

It reached a low of

1017c/kg in 2005.

The 16.5 mi­cron price guide also peaked at 3108c/kg in Au­gust this year (since records started in 2006) and reached a low of 1253c/kg in


The data also showed the

19 mi­cron in­di­ca­tor was the only merino price guide to have not recorded a new high this year, in­stead it peaked at

2499c/kg in 1988 and reached a low of 476c/kg in


Aus­tralian Wool Ex­change mar­ket in­for­ma­tion man­ager Lionel Plun­kett said the dif­fer­ence be­tween 17 and 19 mi­cron wool was a lot closer now.

“There is prob­a­bly a dif­fer­ence in the spin­ner-type wool and those pre­mi­ums prob­a­bly aren’t there, but at the mi­cron level we aren’t see­ing pre­mi­ums,” Mr Plun­kett said.

Aus­tralian Coun­cil of Wool Ex­porters and Pro­ces­sors ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Pe­ter Mor­gan said prices had been “tough” for a long time for su­perfine wool grow­ers.

“But the cur­rent boost in the mar­ket we have seen, prob­a­bly since the end of Jan­uary last year, the finer end was the orig­i­nal pace-set­ter,” Mr Mor­gan said.

He said the dif­fer­ence in price be­tween su­perfine and medium wool had shrunk.

“There’s also a real short­age of wool 19.5 mi­cron and higher,” Mr Mor­gan said.

“So that also con­trib­utes.”

MIGHTY FINE: Su­perfine wool grow­ers have re­ceived some of their high­est prices in 20 years dur­ing 2018.

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