De­mand pushes up wool prices

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

Prices for coarse wool have bounced back, ris­ing 11 per cent higher in the past three months.

Com­pared to a year ago, prices are 10 per cent higher, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est ASB Farmshed Eco­nom­ics re­port.

ASB ru­ral econ­o­mist Nathan Penny said one of the rea­sons for the in­crease was the lower num­bers of sheep since back-to-back droughts in Aus­tralia and the 2012-13 drought in New Zealand.

‘‘There’s less wool around which is driv­ing prices up. It’s sim­i­lar to sheep­meat prices which have also risen re­cently be­cause of a drop in sheep num­bers,’’ Penny said.

Another driver for higher prices could be the hous­ing in­dus­try in the United States and Aus­tralia, and the de­mand for car­pets.

‘‘In Aus­tralia, strong pop­u­la­tion growth means a short­age of hous­ing.

‘‘ This along with low in­ter­est rates should see hous­ing con­struc­tion con­tinue to pick up and with it de­mand for car­pets.

‘‘In the US, the hous­ing mar­ket con­tin­ues to re­cover, which should be sup­port­ive of coarse wool prices as well,’’ Penny said.

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