Making records, wool reaches its highest selling price
AUSTRALIAN wool growers are hitting milestones with record high selling prices.
The North Market Indicator (NMI) for Queensland and New South Wales has broken the two thousand cents barrier selling clean wool at 2014c per kilogram.
Records are being broken on a daily basis with most grades of wool having never been more expensive.
The market trend has seen a slow climb over the past 10 years with the more rapid increases occurring these past 18 months Elders zone wool manager Bruce McLeish said.
"In the last six weeks we've seen the indicator jump by 186c, which is a huge record,” he said.
"The biggest lifts have been in the 21-23 micron range, we saw that rise last week.”
The Australian council of wool exports reports around 80 per cent of Australian wool is exported to Chinese mills.
Taking up 75 per cent of the apparel wool market, Australian wool is in high demand from exporters.
"Because it's the highest quality wool in the world and we produce the best kind for garment making,” Mr McLeish said.
"Currently the merino wool is averaging between $2,500 - $3,200 per bale, depending on the quality. That's an average of $15 per kg greasy or an average bale weight of 185kg.”
The combination of increasing demands and flat supplies has been a driver for the market price.
"The biggest thing about the market at the moment is we have a diminishing supply and a very high demand,” Mr McLeish said.
"We're in uncharted territories, we've never had prices this high before,” he said.
Hoping the market stays strong, the sales in the first week of July could be a turning point for the market.
"Sales will increase up to 20,000 bales nationally, last week we had rostered 35,000 bales nationally and next week we are looking at one of the smallest offerings in10 years, of 27,000 bales” Mr McLeish said.
Unfortunately for the region there has been a mass decline of wool growers due to a wild dog epidemic.
"It's really disappointing we're at our lowest sheep numbers for the Southern Downs,” Mr McLeish said.
The Elders manager estimates a drop from 15 years ago having 50,000 to now 5,000 sheep in the region.