It was also a week in two halves with a very strong finish on Thursday after a softer start on Tuesday. The market fell further when sales opened in Melbourne on Tuesday. Trade reports indicate that it soon found a new level at which buyers were comfortable to trade at and sellers were prepared to sell. The market closed the day on a positive note, particularly among the medium Merino wools.
The stronger market continued on Wednesday in Melbourne when the day finished with gains from 21 to 23 mictons. The 18.0 to 20.0 AWEX Micron Price Guides were generally down by small amounts of around 6¢, on average. Finer micron MPGs were down by around 15¢.
Demand was very strong on Thursday following reports of keen interest from China. The day closed on a very strong note, in the East and continued in the West, where the WMI was up by 32¢ from the previous day. The rises in the Regional Indicators on Thursday matched those seen on a day-to-day basis during the rises in the market in October.
There were gains across all wool types and micron ranges, with the greatest gains in percentage terms continuing among the medium Merino wools. The 20 to 23 micron MPGs finished the week up by amounts from 2.5% to 3.9%. The pass-in rate fell to 6.8% on Thursday, well down on figures of around 30% on the previous Thursday.
The lift in the market has taken the EMI to 177¢ (-14.9%) less than in the same week last year and 57¢ (-5.3%) less than at the start of the season. The WMI is 171¢ (-14.2%) less than in the same week last year and is 40¢ (-3.7%) less than at the start of the season. In other countries, South African sales on Wednesday missed the gains seen in Australia on Thursday.
The Cape Wools Indicator was down by 1.6% in Rand and by 3.6% in US currency since last week. In New Zealand, Wool Services International quoted fine crossbred fleece as “in buyers favour” and coarse crossbred fleece as “firm”. Among other fibres, cotton Futures rose during the week after three weeks of falls. December Futures closed at 72.73 US¢ on Friday, up by 4.5% since the previous week.
52,441 bales were on offer, compared with 48,031 bales last week. 10.3% were passed in, comprised of 9.0% in Sydney, 10.0% in Melbourne and 13.1% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 9.6% and 8.2%, respectively. 47,042 bales were cleared to the trade.
The year-to-date offering is 33,540 bales less (-4.5%) than at the end of the same week last year. Current forward estimates suggest that the year-to-year difference will come back to around -2% over the next three weeks. Whether this occurs or not will be influenced by the strength of the market over this period. The US exchange rate was virtually unchanged up until Thursday when it suddenly moved up, only to be followed by a greater downward movement on Thursday.
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