CASHMERE
After a very strange 2012 where the market moved independently of demand and requirements for cashmere manufacturing, 2013 seems to be setting off in a similar way. During the Christmas and New Year holiday demand from Chinese manufacturers has increased dehaired prices of Chinese and Mongolian qualities by 5-10%. The main reason being a shortage of fibre remaining in herdsmen’s hands and primary processors. Once again the 2012 clip seems to be down on the previous year, main reason being the high price of meat which encourages herdsmen to slaughter goats saving tax and winter feed costs. At current cashmere prices herdsmen earn approximately US$12 per goat per year or US$150-200 for meat. This is a trend that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future and we cannot see any weakness in prices before the new clip.

Mongolia is in the midst of a long, hard winter with temperatures regularly hitting -40 to -45ºC in the city and 5-10ºC lower in the countryside. These conditions will probably impact clip size for 2013.Meat prices are also high in Afghanistan and especially on the black market in Iran as import of meat from most countries is restricted by international sanctions. Iran is also experiencing hyper inflation and merchants see commodities such as cashmere as an insurance against falling monetary values. Cashmere merchants are buying up all available material, most of which is destined for China. Demand from western and Chinese manufacturers seems quite good and we could see further price rises due to shortage before the new clip becomes available in April/May, at origin June/July for dehaired fibre in Europe.

CAMELHAIR / YAK
Prices remain firm around last year’s level with reasonable demand especially for finer types and natural white camel qualities.

SILK
Poor summer harvest in 2012 has resulted in smaller quantities and higher prices across the board. An increase of approximately 20% on 2012 levels.

CONCLUSION

Despite continuing uncertainty of western economies, fibre prices continue to strengthen mainly due to lower available quantities and reasonably strong demand for luxury fibres. We expect prices to remain firm for the foreseeable future and even after the arrival of the new clip.