The US exchange rate rose by 0.1%. The market got away to a good start in both Newcastle and Melbourne, with all Merino Micron Price Guide (MPGs) moving up. This was particularly so in Newcastle where the fine wool Micron Price Guide (MPGs) move up by amounts varying from 17¢ to 20¢ for the 16.5 to 18.5; Micron Price Guide (MPGs) and demand was greatest for the better types. The biggest lift in prices in the South were from 17.5 to 20.0 microns.
Prices steadied on Wednesday, or eased by small amounts. Thursday’s market finished on a similar note, except in the West where there were falls in the AWEX Micron Price Guide (MPGs) from 18.5 to 22 microns. The highest prices in Newcastle were 4,250¢ (greasy) for a 13.2 micron lot on Wednesday and for a 13.7 micron lot on Thursday.
The performance of the 16.5 microns and finer wools was a very positive feature of the Newcastle sale. The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) is 173¢ (-14.5%) less than in the same week last year and is 51¢ (-4.8%) less than at the start of the season. The WMI is 155¢ (-13.1%) less than in the same week last year and is 50¢ (-4.6%) less than at the start of the season.
In other countries, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 4.3% in Rand and 2.9% in US currency. The South African market had missed out on last Thursday’s increase in the market. In New Zealand, Wool Services International quoted fine crossbred fleece as “firm to 4% dearer” and coarse crossbred fleece as “firm to 1% dearer”.
Among other fibres, cotton Futures fell during the week after last week’s rise. December Futures closed at 69.83 US¢ on Friday, down by 4.0% since the previous week. This appears to be more related to short term issues as Futures for later months were down by 1.7% to 1.8%.
46,503 bales were on offer, compared with 52,441 bales last week. 8.4% were passed in, comprised of 6.4% in Newcastle, 7.0% in Melbourne and 15.3% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 9.2% and 5.0%, respectively. 42,580 bales were cleared to the trade.
The year-to-date offering continues to move closer to last year’s quantities, following the recent larger sales. The year-to-year difference is now minus 30,536 bales (-3.9%). It will move to around -2% over the next three weeks if the expected volumes for sale are achieved.
The gains in the US exchange rate in the early part of the week was attributed to a lift in the US share market, a boost in economic confidence there and expectations of progress in Greek economic reforms. The fall on Wednesday was attributed to the failure of the Greek reform talks.
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