The Wester Regional Indicator was down by 4.3% since the last sale in Fremantle two weeks ago. This difference was partly due to the shift in the market over the last two weeks. But, it also appears to include a correction from two weeks ago when the WMI outperformed the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI).
Sales opened in Newcastle on Tuesday on a good note. There was a good offering; and good demand led to small increases in the AWEX Micron Price Guide (MPGs) at the find end and a 2¢ lift in the Northern Indicator. Sales finished on an unchanged basis in Newcastle on Wednesday, whereas it was mixed day in Melbourne where the 18.5 and finer wools eased. All Micron Price Guide (MPGs) came off sharply in the West after the break in sales. Thursday’s sale saw demand and prices ease over all Merino types and micron ranges.
16.5 and 17 micron average Micron Price Guide (MPGs) and crossbred Micron Price Guide (MPGs) were up at the end of the week, with other Merino average Micron Price Guide (MPGs) down (mostly by 1 to 2%). Trade reports also indicate that there was good demand for wools below 16 microns in Newcastle. The highest price reported in Newcastle was 2,300¢ greasy for a 14.1 micron lot sold on Wednesday.
The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI), is 336¢ less than in the same week last year; and the WMI, is 318¢ below the corresponding sale last year. The poorer global economic mood this week would have placed pressure on demand for all commodities.
In other countries, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 1.2% since the last sale two weeks ago. In New Zealand, the Wool Services International crossbred fleece Indicators were up by around 3% since the previous sale two weeks ago.
Among other fibres, December Futures for cotton rose by a further 2.7% during the week, closing at 77.26 US¢ on Friday.
38,508 bales were on offer, compared with 34,190 bales last week (when only Sydney and Melbourne sold). 12.1% were passed in, comprised of 8.0% in Newcastle, 11.1% in Melbourne and 20.0% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 15.5% and 5.6%, respectively. 33,850 bales were cleared to the trade.
The year-to-date offering is 39,108 bales less (-13.8%) than at the end of the same week last year. Current estimates for the next three sales suggest that this figure will move to around -11% over the three week period.
The latest Australian wool production forecast was released last Friday. The forecast for 2012/13 is 345 mkg, 3mkg up from 2011/12. The factors driving Australian exchange rates over the last week appear to have reverted to the pattern seen following the onset of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.
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