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Clip down, demand up, outlook optimistic - AWI

06
Mar '07
A wool market intelligence leader has told the 2007 ABARE Conference that, while wool supply will be low during the coming year, demand has lifted and prices should stay buoyant for some time to come.

In his presentation, “Australian Merino Wool: Playing to Our Strengths”, Chris Wilcox, Chief Economist, Woolmark Market Intelligence, explained that he is 'cautiously optimistic' about the remainder of the 2006/07 selling season. Mr Wilcox said that while wool production will be the lowest this season since World War II due to effects of the drought, the industry still has many factors in is favour.

“Things aren't as bad as the doomsayers might tell us,” he said. “The positives include continued strong global economic growth, fashion trends which support natural fibres, the best orders and business conditions in the global wool textile industry in 5 years and high oil prices which translate to high synthetic fibre prices.” Mr Wilcox believes that these current conditions should generally prevail and that, as a result, the raw wool prices we are seeing should be sustainable for the rest of the season.

“Savvy businesses in our industry are playing to the strengths of Australian merino wool – for example, since the turn of the millennium, many wool producers have changed the type of wool they produce, producing more fine merino wool in response to consumer demands for comfortable, lightweight, quality apparel. They are taking best advantage of consumer-led requirements. Other Australian wool businesses are also responding to consumer demands for quality, value and, very recently, the strong growth in interest for 'ethical' products.”


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