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Australian wool market closes lower
Feb '08
The Australian wool market finished 2.1% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week against a further increase in the US exchange rate.

The AWEX EMI fell by 18¢ (-1.8%), ending the week at 974¢/kg. This reflected decreases of 15¢ (-1.5%) in the North and 20¢ (-2.1%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 1016¢ and 939¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator fell by 26¢ (-2.6%), finishing the week at 972¢.

In a three day sale in Melbourne and a two day sale in Sydney, the AWEX EMI fell by 11¢ on Tuesday, by 5¢ on Wednesday and by 2¢ on Thursday. The Western Indicator fell by 28¢ on Wednesday and rose by 2¢ on Thursday in a two day sale in Fremantle.

58,634 bales were on offer, compared with 48,362 bales last week, of which 18.3% were passed in, comprised of 16.0% in Sydney, 16.4% in Melbourne and 24.6% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 20.7% and 15.0%, respectively. 4,138 bales (6.6%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 14.5% of this week's offering.

The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 3,853 bales in Melbourne on Wednesday of which 17.3% were passed in. 50 bales (1.3%) were withdrawn prior to sale and 23.8% of the bales were re-offers. The market for these wools was quoted by AWEX as fully firm. The total offering of 62,487 bales was well short of the previous Thursday's forecast of 68,557.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 1.06¢ higher on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was up by 0.63¢ on Tuesday, down by 0.41¢ on Wednesday and up by 0.29¢ on Thursday to close at 91.83¢, up 1.57¢ (+1.7%) since the last sale.

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