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Strength in wool market
Oct '11
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 4.8% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 3.1%.

It was a very strong market. The EMI moved up for the first time since Week 10; and closed at its highest level since Week 12 in Australian currency and at its highest level in US currency (1274¢) since Week 11. This week's increase of 48¢ in the EMI is the largest week-on-week increase since the first week of February. The closing EMI is 28.0% above Week 17 last year.

The increases occurred despite the 3.1% appreciation in the US exchange rate since last week's sale.

37,385 bales were on offer, compared with 43,416 bales last week. 6.6% were passed in, comprised of 4.8% in Sydney, 6.8% in Melbourne and 9.7% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 5.4% and 6.7%, respectively.

34,920 bales were cleared to the trade.

The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 1,163 bales in Melbourne on Wednesday of which 22.1% were passed in. 437 bales (27.3%) were withdrawn prior to sale and 21.2% of the bales were re-offers.

The US exchange rate has moved up sharply, but not without some volatility. Varying degrees of optimism about the outcome from the European leaders meeting on the debt crises in some EU countries, favourable data from China early in the week and a lower than expected inflation rate in Australia have all influenced this week's money markets. The lift on Thursday was attributed to the Euro outcome. It took the US exchange rate to its highest level since early September.

The sale opened strongly on Wednesday, following the good close to last week's market and reports of good sales to China and in Europe since the last sale.

Strong competition led to significant rises across all Merino micron ranges and types, that were followed by similar rises on Thursday. Although the rises occurred across all Merino micron ranges, it was good to see the fine wools do well. Price rises at this end of the market were the best seen this season. The fine wool offering was relatively small after last week's Newcastle sale.

The strength on the Merino market can be seen in the week-on-week rises in the average AWEX Merino MPGs, which rose by greater amounts than the EMI. Also, the Western Market Indicator was up by 48¢ on Wednesday in an offering, that was made up of mostly Merino wool, and the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 7.5% in South Africa.

Skirtings opened strongly on Wednesday and made gains throughout the day and again on Thursday. They followed the rises in fleece types.

Crossbred types had more subdued week than occurred with the Merino wools. There were small increases across all micron groups that averaged around 1% compared with rises of 5% to 7% for most Merino wools.

Oddments opened strongly on Wednesday. The gains were maintained in the South on Thursday, but not in the North. Overall the average AWEX Merino Carding Micron Price Guide was virtually unchanged.

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