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Australian wool trends fall marginally last week
Jan '13
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 0.9% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle in the week ending January 19, 2013.  The US exchange rate fell by 0.4%.

The market steadied in the largest sale of the season, and lost a small part of its previous week’s 3.6% lift in the EMI.

The market opened a few cents down in Melbourne on Tuesday.  However, the SMI was unchanged at the end of the day and rose by 3¢ on the Wednesday.  There were signs of buyer caution towards the end of the day on Wednesday, which was reflected in a fall in the Western Market Indicators in Fremantle later in the day.  The WMI fell by 14¢, but it was coming off a higher base from the previous Thursday than the EMI.

The softer closing trend on Wednesday continued into Thursday’s sale, when the EMI moved down by 9¢.  There were falls across most micron ranges and wool types.  Fine wools were least affected, with average falls of around 5¢ in the MPGs up to 18 microns.  Wools from 18.5 to 21 microns were most affected.

The changes in this week’s market have taken the EMI to 85¢ (-7.1%) less than in the same week last year and to 35¢ (3.3%) higher than at the start of the season.  The WMI is 70¢ (-5.9%) less than in the same week last year and is 50¢ (4.6%) higher than at the start of the season.

In other countries, Cape Wools Indicator picked up last week’s lift in Australia.  It was up by 3.2% since last week against a 3.4% depreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar.  In New Zealand, Wool Services International quoted fine crossbred fleece as 2 to 5% dearer in the South Island and 7 to 8% dearer in the North Island.  Coarse crossbred fleece was quoted as 3 to 6% dearer.

Among other fibres, cotton Futures moved up during the week. March Futures closed at 78.55 US¢, up 3.9% since the previous Friday.  July Futures closed at 79.00 US¢, up by 2.1%. 58,189 bales were on offer, compared with 52,063 bales last week.

8.3% were passed in as growers reacted to the fall in the market.  The overall pass-in rate was comprised of 5.0% in Sydney, 6.0% in Melbourne and 18.3% in Fremantle (where the fall in the Regional Indicator was greatest).  Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 11.4% and 5.0%, respectively. 53, 355 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is now 18,972 bales less (-1.8%) than at the end of the same week last year.  If the expected additional larger offerings over the next three are achieved, the year-on-year differences will move close to zero over that period.

The US Exchange rate was relatively unchanged during the week.  It traded in a narrow band around 105¢ for most of the week.  The fall on Thursday was attributed to the worse than expected Australian job data released during the week.

Skirting types opened on a strong note in Melbourne on Tuesday, with some significant lifts in prices. There were rises in some (but not all) types on Wednesday, except in the West where demand was softer.  Overall prices eased on Thursday, in line with other types.  Crossbreds fared slightly better than Merino types during the week, as did oddments.  The AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guides rose all week, including on Thursday when other prices eased.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 53,314 bales are currently rostered for sale.  Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 31 and 32) are 44,440 and 48,700 bales, respectively; an increase of 17.1% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc (AWIS)

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