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Chinese demand pushes up wool prices in Australia
06
Dec '17
Strong demand from growing affluent Chinese consumers has pushed up Australian wool prices to a record high this season. Wool prices are currently at a high of more than Au$16 per kilogram. Though prices are not as high as they were about five years ago in terms of US dollar, Australian wool growers are earning more due to weaker Australian currency.

As the world’s largest producer, Australia exports wool valued at about Au$3 billion (approx. $2.28 billion). China accounts for over 70 per cent of this value.

Chinese companies use Australian wool for manufacturing a range of products including apparel, sportswear and shoes.  About 60 per cent of all wool imported by China is utilised for making products that are consumed by the Chinese, compared to almost full re-export of wool around 15-20 years ago.

Besides growing Chinese demand, high wool prices are also due to other factors like limited number of Australian suppliers and decreasing wool supply.

The level of optimism that is currently seen in the wool industry has not been witnesses in the past many decades, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) CEO Stuart McCullough said at the recent annual general meeting (AGM) of AWI.

International marketing campaigns continue to connect more retailers, brands and consumers with Australia's natural fibre, aided by the development of new and innovative fabrics. Moreover, initiatives such as the Merino Lifetime Productivity project, wild dog control and Lifetime Ewe Management help woolgrowers lift their production and profitability, McCullough said.

AWI has recently unveiled WoolQ, earlier called the Wool Exchange Portal, a platform for woolgrowers, buyers, brokers and classers, seeking access to data, selling choices and trading opportunities. (RKS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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