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Aussie wool prices remain unchanged last week
Feb '13
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 0.1% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle last week when the US exchange rate fell by 1.1%.

It was another mixed sale last week with a good start on Tuesday when sales opened in Melbourne only.  There were gains across all Merino micron ranges, while there were some gains and some losses among the crossbred types. The greatest gains were from 19 to 24 microns, where individual AWEX MPGs rose by 2% to 3% (24 microns).  Finer micron MPGs were virtually unchanged.

The SMI picked up another 3¢ on Wednesday, while there were “catch up” gains in the North and the West. The best gains were from 20 to 23 microns there was a more subdued tone in the sale rooms on Thursday as the market eased.  The falls were greatest from 19 to 22 microns where some of the earlier gains were cancelled out.

While the fall on Thursday may have been due to wool related matters only, it may have also been associated with the fall in global financial confidence that occurred on Wednesday night (Australian time),  Financial markets  responded negatively to concerns that countries that that have been “printing money” to boost their economies may be reviewing this strategy.  Previous falls in global economic confidence have often been associated with more cautious demand and a fall in prices for wool and other commodity.

Although relatively unchanged at the end of the week, the Market Indicators have moved closer to the values of 12 months ago, as the market was falling at that time.  The EMI is 88¢ (-7.3%) less than in the same week last year and is 49¢ (4.6%) higher than at the start of the season.  The WMI is 64¢ (-5.3%) less than in the same week last year and is 75¢ (7%) higher than at the start of the season.

In other countries, the Cape Wools Indicator in South Africa on Wednesday was up by 0.5% since last sale against a 0.1% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 1.1% appreciation against the Euro.

Among other fibers, cotton Futures was relatively unchanged during the week, after moving down in the previous week.  March Futures closed at 83.19 US¢, up by 0.1% and July Futures were unchanged at 84.01 US¢.

50,239 bales were on offer, compared with 49,426 bales last week.  8.2% were passed in, comprised of 5.9% in Sydney, 5.8% in Melbourne and 15.5% in Fremantle.  Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirting’s were 10.0% and 5.3%, respectively.  The relatively high pass-in rate in Fremantle was largely due to a pass-in rate of 22.4% on Thursday.

46,127 bales were cleared to the trade. The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 2,588 bales in Melbourne on Tuesday of which 45.0% were passed in. The year-to-date offering continues to move slightly ahead as weekly offerings continue to be well above those of last year.  The difference is now plus 4,624 bales (+0.4%).

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