This was the last sale for two weeks because of the traditional break in sales next week following Easter.
It was another week in which prices were affected by both softer demand and by a rising US exchange rate. The fall in the EMI was 13¢ in US currency, but this translated into 22¢ in Australian currency because of the rise in the exchange rate. Most types were affected, apart from the fine crossbreds and some oddments.
Tuesday’s market opened on a softer note, but soon found a new level at which trade could be done. The Regional Indicators and Micron Price Guides were down across all micron ranges. Wednesday’s sale was more of the same, with further falls across all micron ranges. Trade reports indicate that the market eased towards the end of the day in Melbourne in what had been a large offering of 13,531 bales.
The EMI and WMI have slipped below their pre-Christmas values of 1072¢ and 1095¢, respectively.
The EMI is now 153¢ (-12.6%) less than in the same week last year and is 11¢ (-1%) less than at the start of the season. The WMI is 144¢ (-11.7%) less than in the same week last year and is 10¢ (0.9%) higher than at the start of the season.
In other countries, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 2.2% against a 0.9% depreciation of the Rand against the US$ and a 0.6% appreciation against the Euro. In New Zealand, Wool Services International quoted mid-micron fleece (25.5 to 315 microns) as 2 to 4% dearer in the South Island and fine crossbred fleece (32 to 35 microns) as 1 to 2% dearer.
Among other fibres, cotton Futures moved up during the week. July Futures were up by 1.7% to close at 89.81 US¢; and December Futures were up by 0.9% to 87.37 US¢.
43,730 bales were on offer, compared with 45,631 bales last week. 11.3% were passed in, comprised of 5.6% in Sydney, 12.0% in Melbourne and 16.0% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 14.0% and 8.0%, respectively.
38,789 bales were cleared to the trade.
The year-to-date offering is 14,273 bales (1.0%) more than at the end of the same week last year (see table on the next page). It is likely to stay around that value over the next two sales, based on expected offerings over that period.
The US exchange rate withstood the financial crisis in Cyprus as resolution appeared likely and a deal was finally agreed to. As mentioned above, it rose above 104¢ for the first time in two months. Some financial analysts suggest that it may remain relatively high, at least in the short term. The Euro exchange rate continues to rise while the Euro weakens.
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