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Aussie wool market finishes 0.7% higher
05
Mar '12
Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc (AWIS) releases wool sale report for the week ending 2nd March. The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Indicators finished 0.7% higher, on average, at sales in Newcastle, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 1.1%. This was the last Newcastle sale of the season.

This week was also the third week of a four week trial in which all centres commence selling on Tuesday. Newcastle and Melbourne sold over three days, while Fremantle sold on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The market got away to a subdued start in Australian currency, and to a good start in US currency, on Tuesday, when the US exchange rate was up by 1.3¢ since the previous Thursday.

Wednesday's market was very strong, with good rises in both currencies across all micron ranges and types. The market finished on a very strong note in the West on Wednesday that continued in the East when sales opened on Thursday. Prices then eased a little later on Thursday, more so among the fine wools in Newcastle, where the Northern Indicator finished down by 1¢ for the day.

Growers reacted positively to the better market conditions with a pass-in rate of 9.6% compared with last week's figure of 20.9%. In other countries, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 3.1%. This was against a 3.3% appreciation in their exchange rate

47,102 bales were on offer, compared with 49,584 bales last week. 9.6% were passed in, comprised of 8.7% in Newcastle, 8.7% in Melbourne and 12.7% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 9.3% and 11.8%, respectively. 42,574 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 38,191 bales less (-2.8%) than at the end of the same week last year. Current estimates for the next three sales indicate that the year-to-year difference will be unchanged over that period. Next week's sale also looks to include some wool flushed out by the price rises of three weeks ago. It is around 8,000 bales up on first expectations three weeks ago.

The widespread floods in New South Wales and North Eastern Victoria appear certain to delay shearing in some areas, which may affect auction offerings for some weeks.

The US exchange rate (Reserve Bank) rose steadily during the week, apart from a half cent fall on Thursday. Financial analysts attribute the rises to improved confidence after the German Parliament voted to support the latest Greek bailout plan earlier in the week and to good local retail data on Wednesday. The fall on Thursday was attributed to statements from the United States Federal Reserve that had a negative connotation.

All Merino average AWEX Micron Price Guide (MPGs) finished up slightly for the week. The fine wools in Newcastle did best on Wednesday when the market was strongest. Overall, it was a much better week for the fine wools, which were affected most in last week's falls.
The 24 micron average MPG had the greatest upward percentage change. This followed on from last week, when it was the only average Merino MPG not to fall.

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