MERINO wool prices over 2000 cents a kilogram pushed bale values to $3500-$4000 last week.
At the Australian Wool Handlers centre in Melbourne, Landmark auctioneer Stephen Keys said strong demand from China and Europe, particularly on the finer Merino wool, had pushed prices past the 2000 cents a kilogram mark.
“Most wool types have increased 40-50c/kg this week alone,” he said.
“There has been genuine demand from processors who want to keep machinery going and many are fearful of missing out on wool because they know the quantities are not there.”
At last week’s wool sale, he quoted 19 micron Merino wool at 1700c/kg clean, 19 micron skirtings at about 1600c/kg clean, while 28 micron crossbred fleece sold for more than 700c/kg clean.
“These are prices we haven’t seen for a long time,” he said.
“In 2002-03, there was a spike for finer wool, but prior to that not since the late 1980s.
“There were a number of wools that made over 2000c/kg greasy today, which equates to about $3500-$4000 a bale.
“This is terrific for the finer Merino growers who have stuck with wool after a tough 10 years.”
Mr Keys said it would be difficult to predict how high prices would go over the next few weeks.
“Prices have been going up rapidly since Christmas but I think with the lower quantities around, we will certainly see spikes but also a bit of resistance on certain microns,” he said.
“But I think these levels are sustainable.
“Crossbred wool may hit a wall, but while the demand is still there from all areas it will stay strong.”