October 24, 2008
October 24, 2008 - Wool sales in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom all reported that wool prices were driven down even further this week because of the global economic downturn. Diminished retail sales and a troubled U.S. economy are being blamed for the declining wool market.
Wools' eastern market indicator (EMI) plummeted by 75c/kg, or around 8.9 percent, this week. The EMI closed on Thursday night at 764c/kg clean.
Most of the week's fall came on Tuesday when the EMI fell by 62c/kg in just one day's sale, one of the biggest falls this year. The market steadied on Wednesday, but the EMI still lost another 6c/kg and a further 7c/kg on Thursday.
The slide of the wool market came despite a further fall in the value of the Australian dollar. These currency fluctuations would normally have driven wool prices up in Australia but had no effect because of recent caution in the main markets.
The value of the Australian dollar fell to US$0.66.8 on Thursday afternoon.
All wools have lost value but it was the fine wools that have been hit the worst.
According to the American Sheep Industry Association, the 2008 U.S. wool crop has long been sold and most has been shipped to the buyers both domestic and internationally. Fall shearing, while limited, is underway in the northwestern United States.