August 11, 2006
August 11, 2006 - According to The Wool Record Weekly, there is general agreement that stocks of greasy wool and wool tops in China and Europe are low and that European mills will need to replenish supplies as soon as the August holidays are over. One leading player told the Wool Record that inquiries from Italy were stronger than would usually be the case at this quiet time for the year.
With China, Europe and India expected to be active in the coming months, few if any traders dispute the recent prediction by Chris Wilcox, the Woolmark Company's chief economist that prices will rise by 10 percent to 15 percent by the end of this year.
In contrast, the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture predicts a continuing decline in wool prices and demand over the next five years and says wool has become a by-product of sheep farming.
Malcolm Ching, a senior buyer with the New Zealand wool exporter Wool Services International, says changing world trends in wool processing as well as sheep production and shearing patterns are putting pressure on wool prices.
This has resulted in wool brokers putting up more wool for auction at the low point of the selling season in June and July. During that period, off-shore demand is quieter and sales are down because exporters buy to supply orders and don't stockpile wool.