FNF wool again in keen demand
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 2.2% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 1.0%.
35,181 bales were on offer, compared with 42,310 bales last week. 5.6% were passed in, comprised of 4.0% in Sydney, 5.5% in Melbourne and 8.4% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 5.8% and 3.0%, respectively. These were the lowest pass-in rates for the season to date.33,213 bales were cleared to the trade.
The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 789 bales in Melbourne on Wednesday of which 24.1% were passed in.
The US exchange rate was quite volatile again this week. It fell sharply on Monday following the poorer economic news from the United States and share market fall on Friday. It fell further on Tuesday, before rising on Wednesday and settling on Thursday. Looking ahead, financial analysts now expect that there is likely to be a fall in the official interest rate, following news of an increase in the Australian unemployment rate this week and other recent cautionary economic data. If so, this would be expected to put downward pressure on exchange rates.
It was a very good week with prices up in all currencies, most Indicators experiencing their greatest gains for the season and the better quality of the offering as the selling season moves into Spring. The greatest gains among Merino types were from 18.5 to 22 microns and at 24 microns. FNF types were again in keen demand.
The strength of the market was reflected in the lowest pass-in rates for the season. Gains were seen across all micron ranges and wool types. While the gains were good, the EMI and the average AWEX Merino MPGs are still behind their values at the start of the season. But, they are still well ahead of prices at the same time last year.
The strength of the opening sales on Wednesday was noticeable in the way the market finished in Fremantle, where the sales close after those in the East. The Western Market Indicator rose by 31¢ on the day, 11¢ more than the Eastern Market Indicator, suggesting that there would probably be a good start on Thursday.
Skirtings had a very good week, starting strongly on Wednesday and making further good gains on Thursday. All types did well, with the better types generally making the greatest gains.
Crossbred types had a steady week, thus maintaining their good start to the season. An increase of 82¢ in the 25 micron average MPG needs to be treated with caution as it was largely influenced by a single clip of well classed high quality Polworth wool in Melbourne.
It was also a very good week for oddment types, with good gains on both days. The average AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide made its first gain (25¢) for the season.
Buyers for China were dominant with strong buying support from India and Taiwan.
Sales will be held in Newcastle, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 46,236 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 12 and 13) are 46,950 and 40,800 bales, respectively; an increase of 11.2% over the three sale period when compared with last year. Next week's Newcastle Sale is the first of the season.
The New Zealand Merino Company is rostered to offer 2,500 bales in Week 12.
In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 0.8% since last week against a 1.4% depreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 1.3% appreciation against the Euro. 7,651 bales were on offer.
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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat