EASTERN AUSTRALIAN MARKET REPORT

Market generally firm at the close.

COMMENT

Prices opened a little cautiously with recent volatility but strengthened towards the close of sale to finish generally unchanged.

FLEECE

Some slight movement either way but generally firm overall.

SKIRTINGS

16.5 / 17.0 micron 1% easier

17.5 micron and broader very firm.

OPEN TOP

Unchanged.

 

FREMANTLE MARKET REPORT

COMMENT

Fleece generally 50-80 cents cheaper, skirtings 50-100 cents cheaper and open tops 30-80 cents chepaer.

FLEECE

The Fremantle market followed Melb/Syd and with prices generally 50-80 cents cheaper today. The finer end was the most affected, with good demand for the small offering of 20.5u and broader limiting falls to around 50 cents.

We still saw a passed-in rate for fleece of 27.9%, with over 10% of fleece offering withdrawn prior to sale.

SKIRTINGS

18.0u and finer skirtings were up to 100 cents cheaper, while broader microns were 50-60 cents cheaper.

OPEN TOP

18.5u and finer open tops were up to 100 cents cheaper, while broader microns were 30-40 cents cheaper.

 

 

EASTERN AUSTRALIAN MARKET REPORT

Market cheaper.

COMMENT

The market opened easier with more than 40,000 bales rostered for the week. Prices did improve as the sale progressed.

FLEECE

Best fleece 17.0 / 18.0 micron 1 to 2% easier.

All others 3 to 4 % easier with tender, high mid break and low yielding wool most affected.

SKIRTINGS

Generally 4 to 5% easier

OPEN TOP

Nominally 3% easier, best length least affected

 

NEW ZEALAND MARKET REPORT

Summary

Merino market extreme.

Comment

There was another good offering of fine wools and halfbreds available this week.  After the gains seen in the Australian market over the past two week prices here increased markedly when compared to the last South Island sale and in line with Australia.  The market was well supported by a full bench of buyers.

FUHRMANN NZ MARKET REPORT

Summary

Market very strong.

Comment

South Island only offering 8,900 bales.  The selection consisted of 46% crossbred and crossbred hogget fleece, 32-36 micron mainly good/average  colour, 12% crossbred second shear/hogget shears bulk 75mm good colour, 10% associated oddments, 10% merino fleece 16-22 micron super style, 17% halfbred fleece, 23-28 micron super/good style and 5% miscellaneous types.  Keen widespread competition with most sectors operation strongly

Fleece Wools

Good colour crossbred fleece 8% dearer.

Poorer style 12% dearer.

Halfbred fleece 23-29 micron up to 20% dearer.

Merino Fleece extreme compared to last merino auction.

Second Shears

Crossbred shears including hogget shears 75/100mm & shorter up to 6.5% dearer.

Oddments

All descriptions 7% dearer.

Passings

5% Passed In.

Next Auction

North Island only, offering 6,000 bales, 29 October 2020.

AUSTRALIAN WEEKLY MARKET REPORT

Comment

Volatility continues. Tuesday this week saw the second greatest one day increase for the EMI according to AWEX reports, the largest being in September 2019. This followed with an easing in prices on Wednesday. The demand is for prompt delivery of greasy wool to China, clearly in short supply, and this is fuelling the volatility. We see this around this time of the year regularly. The uncertainty regarding the global situation is only making the situation more complicated. We are however, pleased to see the fortunes of the market improve. Good wool prices and strong livestock values will surely help to build the future of the merino industry in Australia. The finer merino types continue to be keenly sought after and the crossbred types at the other end of the scale were also in demand this week, closing at the highest point.

AWEX Eastern Indicator compared with 16/10/2020

Eastern Indicator

Close: 1219

Change in % +9.13%

If you want to learn more about AWEX indicators, visit the official website http://www.awex.com.au

Authentico Index Values

15 Micron

Close: 2635

Change in %:  +2.73

16 Micron

Close: 2232

Change in %: +4.49

17 Micron

Close: 1979

Change in %: +6.11

18 Micron

Close: 1740

Change in %: +4.13

19 Micron

Close: 1536

Change in %: +6.37

Authentico Indicator

Close: 1979

Change in %: +4.76

Forecast

We’ve been keenly observing the strong ram sale results in the past month. Stud breeders from across Australia have all seen greater clearance numbers and increased average prices for their stud sheep. This is a show of strength for the merino industry in Australia. It would appear that wool producers are trying to rebuild numbers in a much better season. The focus on ram selection is on quality wool and increased fertility. Surplus sheep and breeding stock in particular are extremely valuable and if current wool prices are sustainable, which we hope they are, this will help to stabilise supply for the next couple of years.

Auction offering – current week

Market          Sale          Offered             Sold       Passed In

North                      S 17                      8122                         7929                  2.4%

South                     M 17                     15674                       14903                 4.9%

West                       F 17                       9278                         8261                 11.0%

Auction offering – next week

Market          Sale          Sale days          Volume

North                      S 18                        T / W                        12122

South                      M 18                       T / W                       20994

West                        F 18                        T / W                       10888

 

If you want to see the complete Wool Sales Roster click here.

FREMANTLE MARKET REPORT

COMMENT

Fleece generally 60-90 cents cheaper, skirtings 60-70 cents cheaper and open tops 50-75 cents cheaper.

FLEECE

The Fremantle market fell heavily today with prices generally 60-90 cents cheaper. 18.5u and finer were the most affected. The market seemed to find its level and held to the end of the sale without falling away further.

The passed-in rate for fleece was 32.7%.

SKIRTINGS

Skirtings were generally 60-70 cents cheaper.

OPEN TOP

Open tops were generally 50-75 cents cheaper on a limited selection.

 

 

EASTERN AUSTRALIAN MARKET REPORT

Market settles.

COMMENT

Market 2 to 3% easier but remained well supported at the basis. Best fine wool least affected.

FLEECE

Best 18.0 micron and finer 2% easier.

All others 3% easier.

SKIRTINGS

17.5 micron and finer 3% easier

18.0 / 18.5 micron generally unchanged

19.0/19.5 micron par to 1% dearer

OPEN TOP

18.5 micron and finer fully firm

19.5 micron 2% easier

Wool Connect Conference Report 2020

More Consensus Needed – Wool Connect Online Conference Concludes

 

On 06-08 October 2020, the Wool Connect Online Grower conference took place with over 750 people watching either live or via on-demand recordings. Over the course of the three days of the conference, a total of 32 speakers presented during 2-hour sessions that included time for questions and an online debate via the available chat function. Attendees signed up from all major wool growing countries including Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, Uruguay, the UK, and the USA. 

 

Each day over 220 attendees took part in the event live. Some wool growers from the Falkland Islands, the USA, Argentina, and Uruguay even attended the event live despite the conference taking place during the middle of the night local time. For those not able to attend the conference, recordings were made available afterward in English and Spanish and are still available to view via the wool connect online platform to everyone purchasing a ticket

Speakers from the entire wool supply chain and related stakeholder groups held 10-minute long presentations. The content focused on defining future market requirements and opportunities for wool in relation to sustainability, animal welfare, and traceability. 

 

The elephants in the room

During his opening remarks, The Schneider Group CEO, Giovanni Schneider, pointed out that he became concerned with sustainability within our industry at a very young age and that he “was excited when last year 250 companies decided to sign the ​Fashion Pact in Biarritz (France), committing on three very important environmental goals by 2030: the first one is stopping global warming, second restoring biodiversity and the third one is protecting the oceans”. He also felt very pleased with the quality of the content that the “amazing speakers” gathered for the conference would bring forward and “honoured” by the number of people joining Wool Connect. Finally Giovanni anticipated that it would be a controversial conference since it would address “the two big elephants in the room: sustainability and animal welfare”.

Acknowledge what is

Overall, the goal of the conference was to create an unfiltered dialogue between retailers, processors, and other industry stakeholders sparking much-needed consensus.  Acknowledging and openly discussing discrepancies between wool supply and demand was the starting point for this first edition of Wool Connect.  Main discussions revolved around topics such as the increasing requirements for non-mulesed wool, sustainable production, sequestering carbon emissions, biodiversity, certifications, and traceability.

Certification overload

The point raised by Marta Maniero from Marzotto exposed the high number of certification schemes available in the market and the complexity this brings for growers and processors alike. The number of times this issue was raised by speakers and discussed among attendees initiated further discussions among certification scheme owners after the conference evidences the need to find a joint and simple solution to the certification jungle. Point taken and progress will be revised in Wool Connect 2021.

Mulesing is not a binary discussion

On the topic of mulesing the conference highlighted the increasing demand for non-mulesed wool due to brand pledges to phase out mulesing by a certain date in the near future. Heinz Zeller, Principal Sustainability at Hugo Boss pleaded for a “stronger move towards the production of mulesing-free wool to reach a better acceptance of wool among consumers”.

The key take away was that the mulesing debate is not a binary one. By hearing the voices of brands like Ermenegildo Zegna, Kering, Hugo Boss, Muji and Armedangels, wool producers as well as animal welfare organisations such as Four Paws and HSI, it became clear that a new and decisive approach is needed. A sustainable solution for all parties involved can only be found through dialogue, mutual understanding as well as consensus building among all stakeholders. Hopefully, the fact that for the first time growers and animal welfare organisations have shared the same (virtual) room is already a big step in the right direction. 

An increasing number of issues 

Retailers presenting their sustainability strategies indicated that mulesing is not the only concern for them when it comes to wool. Other requirements towards wool growers have been expressed such as focusing on sustainable productions, carbon emission, and biodiversity.  The increase in complexity that retailers face as consumer expectations shift is nothing more than a multiplicity of opportunities to generate value for wool disguised as challenges. The commitment and passion for wool expressed by most speakers shouldn’t go unnoticed nor given for granted.

Storytelling is key

Last but not least the importance of communications and storytelling repeatedly came up as one of the opportunities for the industry to tell the beautiful stories wool has to offer in a more proactive way. Michel Mastio, Segment Director Hosiery and Circular Knitting Yarns at Südwolle Group even described their business as “selling services and stories, not only yarns”. Furthermore, comments by speakers and attendees included the need to better educate and communicate about the many good industry practices and high animal welfare standards.  

Stop the blame-game

Within the heated discussions during and after the conference attendees felt the urge to blame certain industry bodies or industry stakeholders as to why and how we got to where we are today particularly on the mulesing debate. However, Wool Connect is not about identifying the culprit as we all got to where we are together. The wool industry is an interconnected system that reacts and depends on each other. Wool Connect wants to put the focus on the future by acknowledging the challenges, creating dialogue, and building consensus on the best way forward for everyone involved. 

It’s all about the money – or is it?

Another question raised several times among attendees within the discussion was about who will pay for all the certifications and extra work required to meet retail demands? What is the right perspective on this? Are we talking about costs or about creating value? One takeaway of the conference was that sustainability needs to be easy and comprehensive for all involved and create tangible value. Whatever solution moves away from these principles is unlikely to succeed in the market. Thomas Moe, Senior Product Director at Salewa, described this as “green business, where everybody in the supply chain needs to earn money”. 

This was also a topic addressed by speaker Gunter Pauli who said that running businesses on efficiency and cost-cutting is no longer going to work. Businesses of the 21 century need to be able to sustain themselves which means taking care of people, the planet, and profit. This is easier said than done but also indicates that market economics as we know it can no longer continue. Covid-19 has been a magnifying glass on this issue over the past months and new concepts such as the doughnut economy and new tax systems are being developed under a higher stage of modern capitalism.

 

Next edition in 2021

Wool Connect was a spontaneous event that was born out of the idea to organise a small internal meeting for Authentico registered wool growers only. The idea, however, morphed quickly into a global conference available to all wool growers. The short time frame taken to organise the event posed some limitations to the content. The goal of this first Wool Connect edition was to clearly call out and acknowledge the existing challenges within the wool industry. The concluding message given by Willy Gallia, Chief Sustainability Officer of the Schneider Group, and team lead of the event, was the importance of finding consensus among all wool supply chain actors as this could only achieve progress and value for all. Creating more opportunities for dialogue and consensus-building will be the goal for the next Wool Connect conference in 2021. 

 

We thank all sponsors supporting the Wool Connect conference. In particular, we thank Control Union for supporting the event as Gold sponsor.

FREMANTLE MARKET REPORT

COMMENT

Fleece generally 110-130 cents dearer, skirtings 100 cents dearer and open tops 100-150 cents dearer.

FLEECE

The Fremantle market followed Melb/Syd and saw prices generally 110-130 cents dearer today. 20.5u and broader were the most affected. The market settled half-way through the sale and perhaps some signs of easing slightly towards the end.

We still saw a passed-in rate for fleece of 1.2%.

SKIRTINGS

Skirtings were generally 100 cents dearer.

OPEN TOP

Open tops were generally 100-150 cents dearer, with 17.5u and finer the most affected.