In a week of turmoil, the Australian wool market maintained a calm demeanour last week.
Reasonable demand from China, Europe and India overcame the effects of increased supply, as South Africa came back on line.
The wool buying fraternity managed their cash flows, just, to allow the wheels to keep turning smoothly.
Australia's greasy wool market managed an overall gain of 1 per cent, as measured by the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Eastern Market Indicator (EMI).
In US Dollars it closed 4 cents a kilogram lower and the Europeans saw an increase of 11 Euro cents - although that is hardly their biggest worry right now.
The resumption of sales in South Africa after a one-week hiatus to try and clear some of the wharf backlog saw a strong jump in prices there, with a 2.9pc increase.
This equates roughly to a 40c/kg jump in Australian Dollar terms.
As usual, about 25pc of the Cape's catalogue of mostly finer micron Merino wools was certified sustainable wools, compared with a much smaller percentage of these wools currently available in Australia.
The actual premiums received both here and in South Africa for these certified wools continues to be large, providing the traditional specifications are also correct in terms of staple length and strength etc.
But there is also a limit to the market for these wools.
There are some early signs that current volumes are approaching equilibrium and the premiums have certainly stopped increasing, as they were consistently earlier in the season.
Still, a premium of about 20-25pc over "normal" wools is worth chasing if current farming practices allow the farm to become certified as sustainable under one of the existing schemes.
Superfine Merino types were again very solid at auction last week, as European buyers competed strongly with Chinese interests for the remaining high quality lots on offer.
With a solitary designated superfine sale remaining on the calendar for this season - being held this week in Sydney - buyers of this type of wool will have had to manage their purchasing requirements to cover the gap between this coming week and early July, when they start to reappear.
Medium Merino wool is seeing solid demand, although buyers are reacting to the increasing degree of fault in the clip as overseas buying instructions dictate.
Low vegetable matter (VM), well grown, high yielding wools are in high demand.
But the limitations of processing capability in China starts to have an effect on prices as soon as the yield drops, or the VM increases.
As usual, skirting types followed the price action of their relative fleece components and crossbred wools held up remarkably well given the large - and increasing - supply of these, especially crossbred lamb's wool, which seems to be everywhere at present.
Cardings were a bit choppy as processors tried to work out the hazy demand signals in what is normally the zenith of their processing season.
Although the first shots were not fired in Ukraine until after the Australian wool auctions had been completed for the week, the suspense and tension had been building for some time and it is certainly affecting the psyche of everyday Europeans.
Buying and processing wool is still a key behaviour for those involved in the early stages of the processing industry across Europe,.
But, increasingly, wholesalers and retailers will be assessing the consumer sentiment - or the potential damage to it - as this conflict continues.
Business is still going on between the rest of the world and Russia.
But the costs of doing so are increasing substantially, and the flow of funds to and from Russia is about to get very difficult.
While not a huge amount of Australian wool goes directly to Russia, it is a large consumer market for finished products given its climatic conditions and historical appreciation for the thermal benefits of wool.
Hopefully many more Europeans will also "wool-up" in coming weeks as the 30pc increase in energy costs makes heating their homes just that bit harder.
The other major market for Australian wool is still more concerned with domestic COVID-19 problems than global territorial issues.
Moving product around China for processing and keeping the actual mill workforce COVID-free remains a challenge, and production is only just able to keep up with current demand.
There has been a reduction in capacity in recent years, as smaller, older mills have been wound-up and, in a busy period as we have now, the remaining processing capacity is fully utilised - or even stretched.
The usual slow return of workers after the Chinese New Year holiday period is adding to the challenge of regaining 100pc efficiency, and shipping delays compound the issue further.
The Chinese domestic market appears to be undergoing a quality evolution this season.
Brands are not focusing solely on price, as before. With the current supply chain issues, quality, delivery service and reliability are deemed more important.
This bodes well for the future of the wool business in China, and for Australia as a supplier, as previously substitution and acceptance of poor quality often meant that high quality, expensive Australian wool was left in the warehouse in favour of cheaper, lower quality alternatives.
Superfine worsted production in China is still moving very well with demand from the well-heeled population.
But current greasy wool prices are making some in the processing trade nervous, and they are hesitating to buy too much stock.
Government uniform orders, as well as typical company uniforms and export orders, are keeping the medium Merino types ticking along.
But the cheaper end of the wool wardrobe in China has lost ground to synthetics and cotton as price pressure increases for the lower socioeconomic classes in China.
Like other markets around the globe, the Chinese market for wool is maturing - or evolving - into more of a luxury market.
Given that Merino wool is still only capable of producing just over 1pc of the world's apparel fibre, moving fully into luxury markets across the globe and forgoing the bulk commodity market seems logical and beneficial, although no doubt it will also bring challenges.