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Aussie wool prices down 0.5% last week
Feb '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 0.3%.

It was a mixed sale this week with a good start on Tuesday, an easing on Wednesday and a strong finish on Thursday following trade reports of greater enquiry.

Tuesday’s sale was comprised entirely of Tasmanian wool sold in Melbourne.  This meant that there was a greater proportion of fine wool in the offering than is normally the situation in Melbourne; and that buyers had to allow for the additional freight cost of up to 20¢ per kg to get the wool from Launceston to Melbourne.  Nevertheless, it was a very solid market.

The easing on Wednesday’s was spread across all micron ranges and types, but was greatest at the fine end.  The gains on Thursday came mainly 18.5 to 20 microns.  The Western market finished strongly, with the WMI picking up 11¢ on Thursday, taking it to plus 5¢ for the week.

The EMI is 127¢ (-10.2%) less than in the same week last year and is 47¢ (4.4%) higher than at the start of the season.  The WMI is 113¢ (-8.9%) less than in the same week last year and is 76¢ (7.1%) higher than at the start of the season.

All individual AWEX Micron Price Guides are moving closer to their values of twelve months ago; and in the case of the crossbreds, their MPGs are now at, or above, their levels of last year.

Among other countries, there were no sales in South Africa.  In New Zealand, Wool Services International quoted Fine crossbred fleece as 1 to 3% cheaper in the South Island and 2 to 4% cheaper in the North Island.  Coarse crossbred fleece was quoted as firm to 1.5% dearer in the South Island and firm to 3% cheaper in the North Island.

Among other fibres, cotton Futures for March moved down by 1.6% to close at 81.32 US ¢.  July Futures were virtually unchanged; closing at 84.05¢, 0.1% above the previous week’s closing value.

49,426 bales were on offer, compared with 53,518 bales last week.  9.4% were passed in, comprised of 5.8% in Sydney, 6.2% of the Tasmanian wools in Melbourne, 12.7% of other wools in Melbourne and 10.0% in Fremantle.  Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 12.1% and 5.4%, respectively.

44,781 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 3,969 bales more (+0.3%) than at the end of the same week last year (see table on the next page).  The difference should become slightly greater over the next three weeks as offerings are still expected to be greater than at the same time last year.  The coming week’s sale is expected to be 54,543 bales.

It was a more volatile week for the US exchange rate, falling from 103.18¢ last Thursday to 102.51¢ on Tuesday, but then lifting by 1.08¢ to 103.59¢ on Wednesday.  Analysts attributed Wednesday’s rise to a lift in consumer confidence, further rises in the share market and a half yearly profit of $3.8 billion for the Commonwealth Bank.

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