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Wool market finishes 2.9% lower
Jul '11
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 2.9% lower, on average at the first sales of the new season in Sydney and Melbourne this week. The US exchange rate fell by 0.1%.

Note, AWEX announced a “rebasing” of the calculations for the Eastern and Regional Market Indicators for the new season. This was the first since July 2006; and has resulted in small changes to the calculations for these data. AWEX has recalculated the values for these Indicators for last week to enable correct week-on-week comparisons between this week and last week.

The changes to last week's Indicators were:
EMI: 1409 to 1399 (-10)
Northern Indicator: 1455 to 1448 (-7)
Southern Indicator: 1371 to 1363 (-8)
Western Indicator: 1378 to 1385 (+7)

39,368 bales were on offer, compared with 31,351 bales at the last sale (when all three regions sold). Pass-in rates were comparatively low, given the fall in the market. 11.5% of the bales were passed in, comprised of 11.7% in Sydney and 11.2% in Melbourne. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 12.3% and 14.9%, respectively. 34,856 bales were cleared to the trade.

The US exchange rate was relatively stable this week. The decision by the Reserve Bank to leave Australian interest rates unchanged was expected by financial analysts; and had little, if any effect on exchange rates.

This week saw another easing of the market, after the bull run from Easter to two weeks ago. Sales opened on a softer note on Wednesday, appeared to find a new level and generally firmed as the day proceeded. Further, but generally much smaller, falls occurred on Thursday. All micron ranges and all wool types were affected.

However, the market remains at very high levels.

The market would not have been helped by the news during the week of an increase in the expected offering for next week's sale. It has lifted from 41,000 last Friday to 59,349 this week.

Skirtings experienced similar falls to fleece types on Wednesday. But, did better on Thursday when the better types firmed, or rose. Crossbreds eased sharply on Wednesday and moved down again on Thursday. They were more affected than Merino wools. Prices for oddments followed other types down on Wednesday, but had a more mixed day on Thursday, when some types firmed or gained a little, while others eased. The average AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide was down by 2.6%.

Buyers for China were dominant with good buying support from India, Taiwan, Korea and Europe.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week in the last sale before the three week mid-year break. 59,349 bales are currently rostered for sale, a 49.5% increase when compared with the same sale last year.

Sales are in recess in South Africa until 17 August.

Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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