The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 3.7% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle last week. The US exchange rate fell by 1.2%. It was a smaller sale due to the Australia Day holiday on Monday.
It was another very strong market, when demand pushed the EMI up by 29¢ on Wednesday and by a further 10¢ on Thursday. The overall gain of 39¢ in the EMI was equal to that seen in the first sale in January. It took the changes in the EMI in January to 66¢ (6.2%). The WMI is up by 74¢ (6.8%) in the same period.
The change in US currency is slightly less (52¢), due to the depreciation in the US exchange rate this week.
The market opened on a very strong note in Sydney and Melbourne on the back of very keen buying activity for China. Gains around 2.5% to 3.5% occurred for most Merino AWEX MPGs. The market maintained its strength throughout the day in Fremantle, where gains of around 4.5% in the 18.0 and 18.5 MPG helped push the WMI to 39¢ above its closing value from the previous week.
The strong demand was maintained on Thursday, when most Merino MPGs were up, or relatively unchanged. A smaller offering of 17.5 to 18.5 micron wool in Melbourne attracted strong competition that led to rises of 35¢ to 46¢ in their MPGs.
Overall, the gains this week were fairly evenly spread over all Merino micron ranges. The gains through January were also spread across all Merino micron ranges, with the greatest gains from 16.5 to 18.5 microns.
The EMI is now 55¢ (-4.6%) less than in the same week last year and is 68¢ (6.4%) higher than at the start of the season. The WMI is 26¢ (-2.2%) less than in the same week last year and is 93¢ (8.6%) higher than at the start of the season. These are the smallest year-on-year differences so far this season. This situation is influenced by the rising market this year and a falling market at this time last year.
In other countries, the Cape Wools Indicator in South Africa was up by 4.7% since last week against a 1.4% depreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and 2.8% depreciation against the Euro. In New Zealand, Wool Services International quoted most both fine and coarse crossbred wools as “cheaper” by amounts ranging from 1% to 6%.
Among other fibres, cotton Futures continued to move up during the week. March Futures closed at 82.98 US¢, up by 3.1% since the previous Friday. July Futures closed at 83.88 US¢, up by 4.3%.
39,993 bales were on offer, compared with 52,461 bales last week. The strength of the market was reflected in low pass-in rates. Overall, 3.4% were passed in, comprised of 2.4% in Sydney, 2.5% in Melbourne and 6.6% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 3.0% and 1.5%, respectively. 38,638 bales were cleared to the trade.