Story image

NZ lamb wool prices jump to 4-year high, aided by Chinese demand, US dollar strength

13 Mar 15

New Zealand lamb wool prices jumped to the highest in more than four years at auction yesterday on increased demand from China for the apparel fibre, and aided by a stronger US dollar.

Lamb wool rose 3.9 percent to an average $6.65 per kilogram from last week's auction, the highest price since February 2011, according to AgriHQ. The average price for 35-micron wool, a benchmark for crossbred wool used for carpets and accounting for the majority of New Zealand's production, slipped 1.9 percent $5.25/kg as it retreated after touching a three-month high last week on lower volumes.

The New Zealand dollar has declined against the greenback over the past week after better jobs data out of the US stoked speculation the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates in June. The stronger US dollar has meant that while the cost for buyers paying in that currency have remained relatively stable, the weaker New Zealand dollar means they are able to pay more for lamb wool in local currency terms.

"Lamb wool increased relative to the US dollar as there is very strong Chinese interest in this wool type, and trading to that country is done in US dollars," said AgriHQ agriculture analyst Ivan Luketina. "Other wool types where demand was spread over China, Australia, India and Europe had smaller increases as the NZ dollar has held up more against most of these currencies than against the US dollar."

Some 7,995 wool bales were offered at the latest auction in the South Island, the smallest weekly offering so far this year, as New Zealand comes out of its main shearing season from December to early February.

Wool is New Zealand's 14th largest commodity export.

Soul Machines' virtual humans go mainstream
An Auckland AI firm renowned for its work creating ‘digital humans’ is now unleashing its creativity to the wider market.
Hands-on review: The Logitech R500 laser presentation remote
With a clever ergonomic design, you’ll never have to glance at the device, unless you deliberately look to use the built-in laser pointer to emphasise your presentation.
GCSB welcomes Inspector-General's report on intelligence warrants
Intelligence warrants can include surveillance, private communications interception, searches of physical places and things, and the seizure of communications, information and things.
Lightning Lab accelerator delves into tourism
“It’s great to see the tourism sector taking a proactive and collaborative approach to innovation."
Apax Partners wins bidding war for Trade Me buyout
“We’re confident Trade Me would have a successful standalone future," says Trade Me chairman David Kirk
Verifi takes spot in Deloitte Asia Pacific Fast 500
"An increasing amount of companies captured by New Zealand’s Anti-Money laundering legislation are realising that an electronic identity verification solution can streamline their customer onboarding."
Homegrown stress relief app to be launched next year
Researchers at the University of Auckland and an Auckland-based creative agency are working together to create a ‘world first’ app that they believe will help with stress relief.
How blockchain will impact NZ’s economy
Distributed ledgers and blockchain are anticipated to provide a positive uplift to New Zealand’s economy.