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Aussie fleece wools prices remain firm
26
Mar '12
Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc (AWIS) releases wool sale report for the week ending March 23. The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Regional Indicators finished 1.3% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 0.7%.

The market got away to a mixed, but generally softer start in another smaller sale on Wednesday. Prices eased across nearly all Merino types, but were unchanged or slightly up among the crossbreds. The falls were least in the North and were generally greatest in the West. Thursday was also mixed, with further falls in the East (but not in the West). The greatest falls were in the North in contrast to Wednesday. Poorer types and wools with higher percentage Mid-Breaks were most affected.

The fall n the US exchange rate meant that the falls were greater in US currency. The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) at 1224¢ is 155¢ less than in the same week last year; and the season average of 1227¢ is 179¢ higher than the season average at the end of Week 38 last year.

The average Western Market Indicator is 195¢ above the season average at the same time last year. In other countries, there was no auction in South Africa. In New Zealand, the Wool Services International Coarse crossbred Index rose by 3¢.

In other fibres, May futures for cotton in the United States were up by 2.5% to 89.63 US¢ / pound since last Friday. 43,256 bales were on offer, compared with 41,560 bales last week. 13.6% were passed in, comprised of 11.0% in Sydney, 11.0% in Melbourne and 20.2% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 16.7% and 12.4%, respectively. 37,370 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 45,643 bales less (-3.1%) than at the end of the same week last year (see table on the next page). Current estimates for the next two sales are down on recent sales and the same weeks last year. If these estimates eventuate, the year-on-year difference in the auctions offerings will slip a little further to -3.4% by Easter.

The US exchange rate was quite volatile this week, ranging between 103.95¢ and 106.08¢. The mid-week fall was attributed to concerns about the rate of growth in China. The closing rate of 103.95¢ was the lowest level since mid-January, but well above the value of 98.95 in mid-December.

There were falls across all average Merino AWEX Micron Price Guide (MPG), with the least fall recorded for the 17.0 average Micron Price Guide (MPG). The 19.0 to 21.0 micron wools were most affected this week.

Demand for skirtings followed that for fleece wools, with a good start in the North on Wednesday. Prices generally remained firm on Thursday, apart from the lesser types.

It was a good week for crossbred wools, whose average Micron Price Guide (MPGs) were unchanged, or up, on both days. It was also a good week for oddments, with locks generally doing best.

Buyers for China were dominant this week, followed by strong support buyers for Europe, India and Taiwan. Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 44,138 bales are currently rostered for sale. The present estimate for the following sale (Week 40) is 43,650 bales; a decrease of 8.8% over the two sale period when compared with last year. Sales are in recess in Week 41, the first week after Easter. Sales are in recess in South Africa until next week.

Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc (AWIS)

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