The market opened on a downward note in Melbourne on Tuesday, but closed with a strong finish on Thursday. Prices eased across all micron ranges on Tuesday, but were more affected at the fine end. 20% of Tuesday’s offering was from Tasmania.
Buyers of these wools have to allow a margin of up to 20¢ per kg for the additional freight cost in transporting the wool to Melbourne for shipment. Tuesday’s easing coincided with a fall in the US exchange rate.
Wednesday’s market was much stronger with good competition across most micron ranges and types, except at the fine end in Melbourne. A further easing in the US exchange rate (following the 0.25% drop in the Australian cash rate on Tuesday) meant that the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) eased slightly in US currency.
Thursday’s market was very keen, with prices up across all micron ranges and wool types. The greatest gains were from 19.5 microns to 22 microns. The availability of these wools will be more restricted next week with the Northern sale being in Newcastle. The strength of the market was a surprise, given that there are still no signs of a significant increase in demand.
It may be a case where there is a need to fill shipping commitments. The combination of keen competition and a steady US exchange rate resulted in a 17¢ lift in the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) in US currency on Thursday. The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) is 208¢ (-17.9%) less than in the same week last year and 114¢ (-10.7%) less than at the start of the season.
The WMI is 207¢ (-17.8%) less than in the same week last year and 123¢ (-11.4%) less than at the start of the season. In other countries, the South African Cape Wools Indicator was up by 1.5% in Rand and down by 1.0% in US currency since last week. In New Zealand, the Wool Services International fine crossbred fleece wools were quoted as firm to 1.5% cheaper and coarse crossbred fleece as firm.
Among other fibres, cotton Futures up to July next year all rose slightly during the week. December Futures were 71.49¢ on Friday, up by 1.2% since the previous week.
43,271 bales were on offer, compared with 35,633 bales last week. 6.0% were passed in, comprised of 4.3% in Sydney, 6.2% in Melbourne and 8.2% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 6.8% and 2.9%, respectively. 40,686 bales were cleared to the trade.
The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 1,020 bales in Melbourne on Tuesday of which 30.4% were passed in. The year-to-date offering is 64,482 bales less (-12.9%) than at the end of the same week last year. The expected offerings for the next thee sales suggest that the year-on-year difference will be between -9% and -10% over that period.
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