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Australian wool prices marginally down last week
Jan '13
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 0.5% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 0.1%.

Overall, it was satisfactory market.  The EMI finished down by 6¢ (5¢ US) in another large sale; but is still 27¢ above the close prior to Christmas.  It also finished on a strong note on Thursday, when both the EMI and WMI moved up in response to greater interest.

There were small gains up to 18 microns on Tuesday when sales resumed in Melbourne, while most other Micron Price Guides (MPGs) eased over the day.  The overall result was a 4¢ fall in the SMI.  The SMI was relatively unchanged in US currency.

There was a further fall in the SMI on Wednesday, which reflected an easing across virtually all micron ranges.  The greatest falls in the 19 to 24 MPGs (apart from the 21 MPG).

Thursday’s market was very positive with rises among nearly all micron ranges and wool types, as there was evidence of increased enquiry from overseas customers.  Hopefully, it is a good sign for the coming week when there will be 10,000 fewer bales on offer in a two day sale because of the Public Holiday for Australia Day on Monday.

The week-to-week changes in most MPGs were under 1%, apart from those for 23 and 24 microns, which were down by 1.3% and 1.6%, respectively.

The EMI is 95¢ (-8%) less than in the same week last year and is 29¢ (2.7%) higher than at the start of the season.  The WMI is 83¢ (-6.9%) less than in the same week last year and is 45¢ (4.2%) higher than at the start of the season.

In other countries, the Cape Wools Indicator in South Africa was down by 1.8% in Rand and by 0.7% in US currency.  In New Zealand, Wool Services International quoted most fine and coarse crossbred wools as “cheaper” and others as “firm”.

Among other fibres, cotton Futures moved up during the week.  March Futures closed at 80.52 US¢, up by 2.5% since the previous Friday.  July Futures closed at 80.40 US¢, up by 1.8%.

52,461 bales were on offer, compared with 58,189 bales last week.  8.3% were passed in, comprised of 6.6% in Sydney, 7.4% in Melbourne and 12.6% in Fremantle.  Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirting’s were 10.2% and 6.1%, respectively.48,103 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 11,262 bales less (-1.0%) than at the end of the same week last year (see table on the next page).  It will fall to around minus 0.5% over the next three sales if current expected offerings for that period are achieved.

The US Exchange rate was again relatively unchanged during the week.  It traded in a narrow band of 42¢, while remaining above 105¢ since last week’s wool sale.  Some analysts have suggested that the favourable Australian inflation data released on Wednesday may be sufficient for the Reserve Bank to lower official interest rates when it meets in early February.

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