Wool prices fell in January on a currency-adjusted basis, helped by an almost 3 percent decline in the value of the Aussie dollar compared to the U.S. currency during the month.
According to reports from the Australian Wool Exchange, the Eastern Market Index ended the month at $3.82 per pound, down $0.30, or 7.3%.
Though the first couple of weeks back from the Christmas and New Year break brought sluggish demand and stable prices, business picked up toward the end of the month.
Demand for the finest Merino counts destined for the luxury market was strong, but volume was small. Courser counts fared better earlier in the month, presumably due to pent-up demand, but mid-microns remained out of favor with buyers.
By the fourth week in January, however, business strengthened across the board, with demand rebounding for just about every wool type and description. In local currency prices, it increased by 2 percent, though still remained lower on a U.S. dollar basis.
Declining cotton and man-made fiber prices have generally weakened demand for wool and put downward pressure on prices, particularly in China, the world’s largest processor and consumer of wool.