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Despite negative sentiments, wool market shows resilience
Aug '13
Wool auction markets in Eastern Australia continued this week to unexpected strong sale results. Under increasingly negative sentiment flowing from several Chinese suppliers, the market showed great resilience, albeit under a very small volume flowing through the system.

Fremantle did not sell this week so it was left to Melbourne and Sydney to deliver the market direction. The first day’s selling produced an unchanged result, with very little to get excited about. Only minor movements were recorded in both centres, with an alignment to similar price levels across the centres occurring.

The final days selling opened to much the same tone, but as the sale progressed, all type and micron categories showed a confident resurgence and by the close of selling had added a few cents to their previous quotes.

The skirting and carding markets continue to be at very attractive levels, with only the Merino fleece sector looking for a spike upwards, but for this to happen we need a fresh input to exporters’ forward books.

All portions of the Merino fleece and skirting’s added between 5 and 10acents to the quotes over the course of the week. The skirting market is particularly strong at present, and only small gaps in price compared to their fleece counterparts is evident.

In fact, when costed on a per kg of top produced, the skirtings in a lot of micron areas are showing similar to dearer top prices compared to full length fleece top.

The small offering of spinners and best top makers at the Superfine (finer than 18.5micron) end of the selection continue to extract reasonable premiums out of the market, with some Italian, Indian and Chinese competition forcing a 50 to 60acent price advantage over the micron indicator levels.

The light offering of 16 to 17 micron saw some keener interest this week. The upcoming designated superfine sale next week in Sydney, which is likely to feature significant quantities from the New England, is sure to test the strength of demand for our top end production.

Unfortunately only the best of the sub 16 micron types are attracting reasonable money, with the average top making types still struggling.

Crossbred and comeback types from 25 to 32 micron met with good demand and prices gained approximately 1% for the series. After initial signs of a weakening in appetite for this sector, buyers rallied late in the week, with some new sales for prompt shipment keeping the interest and levels alive.

Cardings again came under intense interest from the trade this week, and regained all of last weeks’ losses and an additional 15acents was posted by the close.

The upcoming series next week will offer approximately 40,000 bales across all auction centres. With the current season already showing a volume of a significant 7% less wool offered, there may be a back log or wool being held by growers occurring, as current forecasts are indicating a similarto slightly (1 to 2%) lower wool production level. 

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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