The market settled in a larger sale this week after last week’s 39¢ lift in the EMI. It was not unlike the pattern seen in January when the EMI rose by 39¢ in the first sale and then eased by 6¢ over each of the two following sales. The EMI remains at 56¢ (5.9%) in Australian currency and 33¢ (2.9%) in US currency above the closing values in December.
The market opened in Melbourne on Tuesday where some stylish fine wool attracted good competition that led to a lift in the 16.5 and 17 micron MPGs. All other MPGs finished down for the day. Wools up to 19 microns were the least affected. Merino MPGs weakened a little further on Wednesday in the South, while there was an easing in the North and the West which had not sold on Tuesday.
Strong competition for some Goulburn fine wools in Sydney on Thursday saw increases in the MPGs for 16.5 to 18.0 micron, while all other MPGs were relatively unchanged. There was a further easing in the South and the West.
Overall, the fine end did best this week. Other Merino MPGs were down by around 1.5%, on average.
Fine wools have done well in the rises since the start of January this year, with gains that have exceeded those for the medium and broader Merino wools. Next week’s Melbourne sale will include a Launceston sale, which is expected to include some very good fine wool.
The EMI is now 115¢ (-9.3%) less than in the same week last year and is 58¢ (5.4%) higher than at the start of the season. The WMI is 107¢ (-8.5%) less than in the same week last year and is 71¢ (6.6%) higher than at the start of the season.
In other countries, the Cape Wools Indicator in South African was down by 2.1% since last week against a 2.0% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 1.6% appreciation against the Euro.
Among other fibres, cotton Futures were more settled this week after the recent rises. March Futures closed at 82.67 US¢, down by 0.4% since the previous Friday. July Futures closed at 83.97 US¢, up by 0.1%.
53,518 bales were on offer, compared with 39,993 bales in last week’s two day sale. 9.7% were passed in, comprised of 4.8% in Sydney, 9.3% in Melbourne and 17.0% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 12.1% and 6.5%, respectively. 48,346 bales were cleared to the trade.
Although the difference is small, the year-to-date offering is ahead of the same week last year for the first time this season. The difference is 1,960 bales, up by 0.2%. Expected offerings for the next three sales are up on last year and should result in a continuing rise in the year-to-year difference.
The US Exchange rate has fallen further this week. It has moved from 105.15¢ on the Thursday of two weeks ago to 103.94¢ a week later and to 103.15 at the close of wool sales this week. Analysts have attributed the fall to some weaker signs in the Australian economy and to the Reserve Bank leaving the official Cash Rate unchanged at 3.0%. The latter was expected by most analysts, but represented a change in sentiment from two or three weeks earn the expectations of a fall were higher.
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