Wool market: Superfine premiums shrink as medium volumes fall
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.