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Aussie wool market finishes 0.4% higher
20
Feb '12
Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc (AWIS) releases wool sale report for the week ending 17 February 2012. The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Regional Indicators finished 0.4% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne / Launceston and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 1.1%.

This week was the first of a four week trial in which all centres commence selling on Tuesday. Melbourne sold over three days, while Sydney and Fremantle sold on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was also the week of the speciality sale of Tasmanian wool in Melbourne. It was held on Tuesday and included some very good Merino, comeback and crossbred wool.

The market got away to a solid start on Tuesday, following last week's very strong market. The Northern Indicator was up by 13¢, the Western Indicator by 9¢ and the Southern Indicator by 3¢. The smaller shift in the Southern Indicator needs to be kept in perspective, as Tuesday's offering of Tasmanian wool is all stored in Launceston. Buyers need to include the additional freight cost from Launceston in their bareme.

The market started to soften towards the close of selling on Wednesday. This was followed by a further easing in the market on Thursday in the Melbourne where the Southern Indicator came back by 10¢.

The crossbred market fared better than the Merino market this week in a reversal of recent trends.

This week also saw the end of the large increases of the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) in US currency in recent weeks. The combination of a lower exchange rate and a softer closing market resulted in a 13¢ fall in the EMI in US currency.

The EMI at 1244¢ is 10¢ less than in the same week last year; and the season average of 1228¢ is 234¢ higher than the season average at the end of Week 33 last year.

47,417 bales were on offer, compared with 42,907 bales last week. 8.1% were passed in, comprised of 5.8% in Sydney, 8.6% in Launceston and 9.7% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 7.8% and 7.3%, respectively.

43,570 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 41,203 bales less (-3.3%) than at the end of the same week last year (see table on the next page). Last week's market has flushed out some additional wool for next week's sale. But, not enough to reduce the expected year-on-year difference over the next three weeks. Offerings at this time last year were being boosted by grower responses to the very good market.

The US exchange rate (Reserve Bank) eased progressively during the week, apart from a short-lived lift on Wednesday. Financial analysts have pointed to resumed uncertainty about the Greek "bailout", the better than expected January employment data in Australia and speculation about the Reserve Bank's next decision on interest rates has being factors of importance during the week. Overnight trading on Thursday lifted the exchange rate over 107¢.

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