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Wool market remains firm this week
Jun '08
The Australian wool market finished 0.4% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week.

The AWEX EMI rose by 1¢ (+0.1%), ending the week at 874¢/kg. This reflected a fall of 2¢ (-0.2%) in the North and an increase of 5¢ (+0.6%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 910¢ and 845¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator rose by 7¢ (+0.8%), finishing the week at 854¢.

In a two day sale in Sydney and Melbourne, the AWEX EMI fell by 1¢ on Wednesday and rose by 2¢ on Thursday. The Western Indicator rose by 7¢ on Wednesday in a one day sale in Fremantle.

40,292 bales were on offer, compared with 19,646 bales last week (when only Sydney and Melbourne sold), of which 8.2% were passed in, comprised of 5.4% in Sydney, 7.8% in Melbourne and 12.5% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 7.7% and 9.0%, respectively. 1,302 bales (3.1%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 15.5% of this week's offering.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 1.28¢ higher on Monday when compared with Wednesday of last week. It was then down by 0.16¢ on Tuesday, up by 0.40¢ on Wednesday and was unchanged on Thursday to close at 95.67¢, up 1.52¢ (+1.6%) since the last sale.

The exchange rate against the Euro rose by 0.59 Euro cents (+1.0%) to close at 61.43 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved up by 14¢ (+1.7%) in US terms and by 6¢ (+1.1%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.

The market remained firm this week against a rising United States exchange rate. Clearance rates were very good, particularly on Thursday when the pass-in rate was 5.3%. Competition continued to be strong for the better types of wool, with prices lifting on both days of selling. AWEX reported that an 11.6 micron lot from the famous Hillcreston/Pinehill brand sold for 269,000 cents in Sydney on Thursday.

This was the finest diameter ever for a lot offered at auction.

Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) were up by 12¢ clean for 16.5 microns, by 7¢ for 17.0 microns, by 9¢ for 17.5 microns, by 3¢ for 18.0 microns, down by 6¢ for 18.5 microns, by 7¢ for 19.0 microns and by 6¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was down by 4¢ clean, 21.0 microns was up by 2¢, 22.0 microns by 9¢, 23.0 microns by 6¢, and 24.0 microns by 3¢.

Skirtings continued to be strong demand on both days of selling while oddments eased slightly with a 5¢ fall in the average Merino Cardings MPG. All crossbred types were easier this week, with their average MPGs falling by 11 to 15¢ at the fine end and 5 to 7¢ for medium and coarse types.
Once again, the majority of the wool was bought by buyers for China, with strong support from buyers for India.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 46,259 bales are currently rostered for sale. The present estimate for the following sale is 35,840 bales, resulting in an increase of 14.1% over the two sale period when compared with last year. The 14.1% increase in the offering needs to be kept in perspective as there was no sale in Week 2 last year and 72,000 bales were offered in Sale 1. South African sales are in recess until 20 August.

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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