The market finished on a strong note after a cautious start to the week.
Merino Micron Price Guides were either unchanged, or down, whereas crossbred Micron Price Guides were up when sales opened in Melbourne on Tuesday. Wednesday’s sales opened on a similar note but firmed among the medium and broader Merino and crossbred types as the day progressed. The gains were greatest in the West, where the WMI was coming off a lower base from the previous week. The Northern Indicator was unchanged as the gains among the medium Merinos were cancelled out by falls at the fine end.
Further gains for the medium micron Merinos led to further overall gains and a strong finish on Thursday. The 20 to 22 average MPGs were up by around 2% for the week. Average Crossbred MPGs were up by amounts ranging from 1.2% to 3.1%.
The EMI is now 100¢ (-8.2%) less than in the same week last year and is 46¢ (4.3%) higher than at the start of the season. The WMI is 89¢ (-7.2%) less than in the same week last year and is 75¢ (7%) higher than at the start of the season.
Among other countries, sales were in recess in South Africa. In New Zealand, Wool Services International quoted fine crossbred (32 to 35 microns) prices as firm from the from the previous week in the South Island and 4 to 6% dearer from two weeks ago in the North Island.
Among other fibres, cotton Futures moved up again during the week. May Futures closed at 86.88 US¢, up by 1.7% and July Futures closed at 87.57 US¢, up by 1.8%.
54,346 bales were on offer, compared with 47,686 bales last week. 7.1% were passed in, comprised of 4.8% in Sydney, 6.5% in Melbourne and 11.4% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 7.3% and 8.5%, respectively.
50,480 bales were cleared to the trade.
The year-to-date offering continues to move slightly ahead of last year. 9,831 bales more (+0.7%) have been offered for sale than at the end of the same week last year (see table on the next page). This trend is likely to continue, as the current expected offerings for the next three sales are 9.8% greater than last year.
It was a volatile week for the US exchange rate. It moved down by over one cent on Monday, which financial analysts attributed to reports that the Governor of the Chinese Central Bank had made comments about the need for care in investment spending. This was reversed on Tuesday after the Reserve Bank announced that it would keep the official Cash Rate unchanged at 3.0%.
It was a mixed week for skirtings types, rather than the stronger market seen in many weeks. This uncertainty was reflected in a higher pass-in rate for Merino skirtings than for Merino fleece. As mentioned above, crossbred wools were is strong demand, with rises on each day of selling. Oddments had more missed results, with most types easing slightly or being relatively unchanged.
Buyers for China were dominant, with support from buyers for India, Europe and Korea.
Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 43,565 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 38 and 39) are 49,261 and 46,900 bales, respectively; an increase of 9.8% over the three sale period when compared with last year.
Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc
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