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Wool Prices Slip, Though Some Counts in Short Supply

Wool prices slipped 3% on a dollar basis between mid-October and the third week of November, due to spotty demand and the rising value of the Australian dollar.

The Australian Wool Exchange Eastern Market Price Index has declined from $4.82 to $4.68 per lb. in the past five weeks. Wool prices remain 12% higher than their 52-week low of $4.18 per lb. reached in July, but still well below the high of $5.37 hit in February.

Demand from Italy, China and India for higher quality finer counts has remained healthy, and in the past week has been met by improved supply.

Though the U.S. remains one of the top markets for wool apparel and accessories, demand for the fiber has suffered steady declines in recent years as the Americans migrate toward warmer climates and tend to prefer synthetics from both a fashion and cost standpoint.