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AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide drop sharply
May '12
Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc (AWIS) releases wool sale report for the week ending May 18. The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Regional Indicators finished 2.7% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 1.5%.

This week's market was under considerable pressure due to the further weakening of global financial confidence that began last week; and was followed this week with the news that none of the political parties in Greece has been able to form a Government (see below). This comes on top of already soft demand.

The major part of this week's falls occurred on Wednesday when the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) came back by 24¢ in Australian currency and by 46¢ in US currency. The WMI fell by 25 A¢ on Wednesday.

The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) in US currency has fallen by 90¢ (7.5%) over the last two sales. But, this has been partly cushioned in Australian terms by the falling exchange rate. The fall in the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) in Australian currency over the same period was 49¢ (4.2%).

The finer Merino types, which are down by 30 to 35% from the same week last year, were again more affected than the medium and broader types. The medium and broader wools were in limited supply when compared with the finer types. Crossbreds held on well in Australian currency, particularly at the fine end. As might be expected the better wools attracted stronger competition than the poorer types.

The national pass-in rate of 23.2% was the highest for the season; as was the 41.3% pass-in rate in Fremantle on Wednesday.

In other countries, sales were in recess in South Africa. The Wool Services International fine crossbred (33 - 35 microns) and coarse crossbred (36 – 39 microns) Indicators were up by 3.5% in New Zealand.

Among other fibres, July futures for cotton were down by 1.2% from last week to close at 77.99 US¢ on Friday.

39,578 bales were on offer, compared with 33,168 bales last week. 23.2% were passed in, comprised of 21.9% in Sydney, 17.0% in Melbourne and 41.3% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 25.6% and 32.3%, respectively. 30,406 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 55,169 bales less (-3.1%) than at the end of the same week last year (see table on the next page). This figure is expected to improve slightly over the next three sales due to the forecast offerings being above those of last year.

The inability of the political parties in Greece to form a Government has been the major factor affecting exchange rates this week. As said last week, the associated fall in global economic confidence has led to the familiar scene of falls on global stock markets, in commodity prices; and in the transfer of investor funds from Australia to the “safe havens” of US Treasury bonds, the Swiss Franc and the Yen. The transfer of funds from Australia results in a lower Australian exchange rate with the United States.

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