Recent data has revealed bigger premiums are being paid for non-mulesed wool in the finer Merino microns, but industry specialists are encouraging producers not to lose sight of the "whole package" when placing their clips on the wool market.
And NSW wool technical officer and auctioneer for Australian Wool Network (AWN) Cassie Baile said having sound specifications on a non-mulesed clip is a big advantage in a volatile market.
"For the last three to four years there has been an obvious premium in the market for non-mulesed wool," Ms Baile said.
"But from week to week and even day to day, premiums, depending on the variants of the market, could be anything between 40 to 100 cents per kilogram."
And in terms of the saleability, she said non-mulesed is just the beginning.
"Non-mulesed clips will sometimes sell themselves, but if you have the right specifications to go with it - good length, strength and a good yield - then that will drive the market and the buyers a little harder," Ms Baile said.
From week to week and even day to day, premiums, depending on the variants of the market, could be anything between 40 to 100 cents per kilogram- Cassie Baile, AWN
"There is a definite increase of competition on non-mulesed lines.
"But the wool market remains very volatile, so even having it non-mulesed is going to drive it better in a tougher market.
"In a good market it is easy to sell good wool, in a tough market it is easy to sell the better types of wool."
Emerging market signals for woolgrowers show while the premiums for non-mulesed wools can vary across micron categories, not declared wool is receiving a small discount, pain relief wool is receiving a modest premium and non-mulesed wools are receiving increasing premiums.
And recent data has also revealed during some of the weakest moments of the market in 2021, non-mulesed premiums for Merino fleece were evident with bigger premiums showing up in the finer Merino micron categories.
For the major Merino categories, the premiums continue to be in the order of one to three per cent, although responsible wool standard (RWS) lots occasionally are priced at much greater premiums, but are often in very small volumes.
In a recent report by Independent Commodity Services analyst Andrew Woods for Mecardo, the ceased mulesed (CM) and non-mulesed (NM) premiums were conditional, meaning they need other wool characteristics to be present such as high staple strength.
"The high staple strength, best style Merino fleeces show much more consistent premiums with the premiums for the lower strength wool being hit and miss," Mr Woods said.
"The message here is that premiums for CM-NM wool is concentrated in the higher value consignments made up of better quality wool.
"The premiums are not evenly distributed across different wool qualities."
He said previous analysis had also shown the price premium for non-mulesed Merino fleece increases as the fibre diameter decreases from around 19-micron and is quite substantial for 18-micron and finer wool.
"For the major Merino categories, 18.5 to 20-micron, the premium is in the 1pc to 3pc range," he said.
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