Presale sentiment from the buyers was rather mixed, with talk of just minor amounts of fresh business being conducted with the local exporting fraternity, as the Chinese based traders continue to dispose of their stocks held in China at levels reported to be at 20 to 30 USc/kg under the market, levels at which Australian exporters are reluctant to expose themselves to.
The eventual market results reflected those thoughts with very little changing in the price levels of most types on offer, although the merino skirtings struggled somewhat to maintain the pre Xmas levels.
The super fine merino sector (18.5micron and finer) was hampered by the dwindling quality of the wools on offer, with very little of the better style and strength types available.
A good proportion of the merino selection fell into this category and as such the general quotations were approximately 10acents off for the fleece and up to 25acents cheaper for the skirting descriptions. The better types were an exception and met with good competition to be fully firm for the week.
Fine and medium merino types 18.6 to 23.0 micron met with only slight resistance during the selling week and prices held on to close around similar levels to 5acents cheaper.
Volume of bales on offer in this area continues to be relatively light, and hence the price gaps between all merino micron categories remains tight. The continuing dry spell across most of the wool growing regions is affecting the volume of offering in these categories, with much of the offering testing finer than what it normally would.
Under the large weight on offer, the comebacks and crossbreds of 24 to 32 micron performed admirably, with prices being fully firm by the close of selling. Extremely widespread interest from the trade ensured most lots were sold, with only some inferior and kempy lambs types not meeting the sellers reserves.
The carding sector of all breeds and microns once again showed the greatest movement and gains of 10 to 20acents were recorded, as buyers competed strongly for the wool on offer. Interest in this sector from China remains particularly strong and as such price levels continue to be near the record levels established late last calendar year.
Next week will see the largest volume seen for quite some time, with 60,000 bales scheduled for auction. The stronger competition seen towards the end of selling this week may well be an indicator that the market can cope with the quantity, although some fresh business and stronger indents would be a reassuring addition to see a strong market.
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