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Aussie wool indicators fall
Dec '11
Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc (AWIS) releases wool sale report for the week ending 9th December 2011.

Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Regional Indicators finished 3.0% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 0.1%. This was the second last sale before the Christmas break.

The market eased further this week, following the soft finish to last week's sale. The easing was not surprising as the offering of 50,304 bales was the largest since the first sale after the mid-year break; and there was a large offering of Tasmanian fine wools in Melbourne on Tuesday. The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) was down by 17¢ in US currency on Tuesday and by 8¢ on Wednesday / Thursday.

The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) at 1168¢ is 161¢ higher than in the same week last year; and the season average of 1235¢ is 309¢ higher than the season average at the end of Week 23 last year.

The greater fall in the Western Indicator was again affected by the difference in the selling days between the East and the West. The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) fell by 41¢ from the last day of selling in Fremantle in the previous week.

50,304 bales were on offer, compared with 44,372 bales last week. 15.4% were passed in, comprised of 10.4% in Sydney, 15.5% in Melbourne and 21.8% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 16.8% and 13.6%, respectively. 42,559 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date national offering is 22,381 bales less (-2.5%) than at the end of the same week last year.

The exchange rate was much steadier after last week's increase of 5.4%, but continues to fluctuate on a day-to-day basis.

It eased on Tuesday following the Reserve Bank's decision to lower the official cash rate by 0.25%. The fall was short lived, when the exchange rate rose on Wednesday in response to better than expected GDP figures for the third quarter. Changes in the coming week will probably be influenced by outcomes from the European debt crisis meeting at the end of the week.

Although the prices were down on Tuesday, the market held up quite well considering the quantity of fine wool on offer and there are additional freight costs for wool stored in Tasmania. There was probably some benefit from the fall in the exchange rate on Tuesday; although this benefit was reversed on Wednesday and Thursday when the exchange rate moved up.

All Merino types and micron ranges were affected, with the impact greatest for 20 to 21 micron wool and least at 24.0 microns. The medium and broader wools continue to be the least affected this season.

Skirting types followed the fleece types down on Tuesday and Wednesday, but firmed to some extent on Thursday. Crossbred prices were also softer, with similar percentage changes in their average AWEX Micron Price Guide (MPGs) to those seen for Merino wools.

Oddments prices were also down, but there was some variation between types. Locks appeared to be most affected. The average Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Merino Cardings Price Guide was down by 2.4%.

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