Wool prices in key Australian markets turned sharply higher in April as the stronger Aussie dollar and brisk demand for Merino counts pushed the benchmark Australian Eastern Market Index (EMI) up by more than 10 percent, from $3.83 to $4.24. On an Australian dollar basis, the index finished the month up 6 percent.
The Australian wool auction sales got off to a strong start in April, with all types and descriptions of the fiber attracting interest. Selling was brisk with price rises across the board.
After a week off for the Easter recess, selling resumed with the same vigor as earlier in the month. Merino counts were particularly strong–with crossbreds a bit weaker–though still managed to rise in price to near historic highs.
The Australian wool industry is projecting a decline in shorn wool production this year and next due to poor pasture conditions and the increase in sheep being grown for meat and skins. This has no doubt lit a fire under buyers who are concerned about supply.