Sheep & lamb offtake in the east and west

The topsy turvy nature of this season in terms of seasonal conditions, and flowing from that, sheep meat prices, has certainly not been a “business as usual” period for the Australian sheep flock. With this in mind, we look again at the sheep and lamb offtake, this time splitting the Australian flock into eastern and […]

Competitor crossbred stocks piled high-revision

An article in the Rio Times from the middle of 2023 caught the eye recently as it put a number on wool stocks in Uruguay. It was a large number, 40 million kg of coarse (crossbred) wool which is effectively twice its annual wool production. However, the situation is different in Uruguay due to early-stage […]

Did we get a hint at the crossbred wool decline?

Crossbred wool production in Australia now accounts for around 22% of the national wool clip (based on clean volumes sold at auction). It has been some years since Mecardo looked at crossbred prices in other countries and compared them to Australian prices. Given the increase in the proportion of the clip that crossbred wool accounts […]

The economies impacting the Merino market

Greasy wool prices continue to drift along, with the very fine merino categories an exception. Prices range from depressed (for crossbreds) to low (broader merinos) to quite high (very fine merinos). As a general comment, the greasy wool market is waiting (like most of the apparel fibre markets) for improved economic news from the major […]

Sheep and lamb offtake update

WA sheep in yard

Given the dramatic swings in seasonal conditions since mid-2023 in eastern Australia, it seems timely to check the sheep and lamb offtake levels to see what is happening to the flock size. Mecardo last looked at the sheep and lamb offtake in October (read here), when seasonal conditions were not good and prospects were grim. […]

Profile of the NZ wool clip

New Zealand is the big broad crossbred wool producer and exporter, as well as having a good quality merino clip which is similar in size to the New England regional clip. So it is valuable to know what is going on in terms of production and price across the Tasman Sea. Detailed information (supply and […]

South African merino values matching or exceeding our own?

South Africa is one of the main southern hemisphere merino exporters contributing to the merino supply available to the greasy wool supply chain. In this article, we compare the annual average South African and Australian merino prices, adjusted for point of micron. The South African merino clip varies in terms of quality (read here) by […]

Elevated supply and pricing for Ultrafine wool

Wool is a catchall term for a fibre that covers a wide range of qualities and uses. In this article, we look at the very fine end of the Merino micron distribution where despite improvements in supply, prices are tracking at excellent levels. As a general rule around 85% of the Australian fresh-shorn wool clip […]

RWS premiums and volumes for 2023

RWS-accredited wool volumes continue to grow in the major greasy wool exporting countries, accounting for slightly over half of South African production, one-third of Uruguayan production, one-fifth of Argentine production, and some 13% of New Zealand production. This article investigates RWS premiums and volumes in merino wool sold at auction in Australia in 2023. The […]

Impact of the dry spring on 2024 Merino wool supply

In the six months to October, the six-month median rainfall for Merino regions around Australia came in at a low 21st percentile, reflecting the very dry spring. November rainfall has dragged the six-month percentile back to the 30th percentile but the effect of the dry 2023 spring will be felt through till mid-2024 at least. […]

Australian combing and carding volumes

The makeup or quality of the Australian wool clip varies through the season, and between seasons. The supply chain at times can turn up at auction generally assuming volumes and quality will be on par with that of recent years. That leaves the demand side of the market open to supply shocks. In this article […]

Goat and sheepmeat correlations

The drop in meat prices since mid-2022 has affected beef, lamb, mutton, and goat. This article investigates the relationship between goat meat prices and other extensively grown meats during the past two decades. In past Mecardo articles, we have looked at lamb as being the upper bound for goat meat prices and mutton as being […]