16 Oct 2010

Wool prices lift again

2:46 pm on 16 October 2010

Crossbred wool prices continued their steady rise at the North and South Island sales on Thursday.

They increased by a further 10% or more, despite the New Zealand dollar breaking through 76 cents US during the sales.

John Henderson of Fuhrmann New Zealand says crossbred wool prices have been improving for the past 15 months.

In US dollar terms they are more than 50% above where they were in May last year and are now at a 14-year high.

But he says it has been only in the past two or three months, when the prices moved ahead of the New Zealand dollar, that farmers and exporters have benefited from the increases, driven mainly by stronger demand.

Mr Henderson thinks international promotion efforts that New Zealand exporters and other wool interests are helping to fund are contributing to a lift in demand at the consumer level.

Rising prices for nylon and other competing fibres may also be playing a part.

Wool Services International says crossbred prices made the biggest gains again this week, with coarser carpet type wools rising by 10% - 12% and the strong crossbred indicator lifting by 53 cents per kg.

But finer wool prices have also improved, with merino fleece selling for up to 8% more, and mid micron wools were 1% - 4% dearer.

Almost all of the 19,000 bales auctioned at this week's sales were sold.