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Aussie wool market up
Dec '11
Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc (AWIS) releases wool sale report for the week ending 2nd December 2011.

The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Regional Indicators finished 1.1% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 5.4%.

The market opened strongly on Wednesday following the strong performance on the previous Thursday. It maintained that momentum throughout the day; and the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) finished up in both Australian and US currencies. This was followed by a softer market on Thursday that reversed most of Wednesday's gains.

It is not clear how much of this fall was due to market conditions and how much was due to the sharp rise in the US exchange rate that occurred on Thursday (see below). The rise in the US exchange rate meant that the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) was up by 12¢ in US for the day; and up by 65¢ US for the week.

The EMI at 1193¢ is 179¢ higher than in the same week last year; and the season average of 1238¢ is 317¢ higher than the season average at the end of Week 22 last year.

The greater rise in the Western Indicator was due to there being no sale in Fremantle last Thursday or this Tuesday, during which the EMI rose by a total of 35¢.

44,372 bales were on offer, compared with 43,499 bales last week. 12.3% were passed in, comprised of 11.4% in Sydney, 11.7% in Melbourne and 16.2% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 10.7% and 9.8%, respectively.

38,933 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date national offering is now 19,554 (-2.3%) less than last season. Looking ahead to the last two sales prior to Christmas, the forecast offerings are now more in line with last year than in recent weeks.

The continuing economic uncertainty in Europe and the swings in exchange rates continued this week, with a 5.4% increase in the US exchange rate; and increases of 4.7% and 5.5% respectively in the Euro and Chinese Renminbi exchange rates. The 2.35¢ lift in the US exchange rate on Thursday was attributed to the boost in confidence that came after news on Wednesday night that the world's major central banks intend taking a combined approach to resolving the European debt crisis.

The increases in the market on Tuesday occurred across all Merino fleece types and micron ranges, with the greatest gains from 18.5 to 24 microns. A number of individual AWEX Micron Price Guide (MPGs) lifted by 30 to 40¢. The downward movement on Thursday was greater at the fine end, while most of the broader Merino average MPGs stayed in positive territory for the week.

All Western AWEX Micron Price Guide (MPGs) were well up for the Wednesday-to-Wednesday interval between their sales. The increases ranged from 24¢ at 18.5 microns to 65¢ at 21 microns.

Skirting types followed the fleece types up on Wednesday, but then eased on Thursday when demand and prices for fleece types softened.

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