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Wool market finishes 0.2% lower
Oct '08
The Australian wool market finished 0.2% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week.

The AWEX EMI fell by 1¢ (-0.1%), ending the week at 858¢/kg. This reflected a fall of 3¢ (-0.3%) in the North and an increase of 1¢ (+0.1%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 903¢ and 820¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator fell by 4¢ (-0.5%), finishing the week at 818¢.

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

45,189 bales were on offer, compared with 55,832 bales last week, of which 11.0% were passed in, comprised of 6.6% in Sydney, 12.0% in Melbourne and 15.6% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 11.5% and 13.5%, respectively. 2,005 bales (4.2%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 9.0% of this week's offering.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 0.92¢ lower on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was then down by a further 2.84¢ on Tuesday (after the failure of the US “rescue” package to be passed by Congress), down by 0.34¢ on Wednesday and by 0.54¢ on Thursday to close at 79.08¢, down 4.64¢ (-5.5%) since the last sale.

The exchange rate against the Euro fell by 0.26 Euro cents (-0.5%) to close at 56.64 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved down by 40¢ (-5.6%) in US terms and by 3¢ (-0.6%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.

Prices, on average, finished slightly lower in a week highlighted by the financial turmoil and uncertainty over whether the US rescue package would be passed and by another sharp fall in the US exchange rate. As expected demand was not strong in this environment and prices did not move up in Australian dollars in response to the depreciation in the US exchange rate as they did in Weeks 7 and 11 when the exchange rate fell by 4.5% in each week and the EMI moved up by 27¢ and 26¢ respectively.

Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) were unchanged for 16.5 microns, down by 7¢ clean for 17.0 microns, by 19¢ for 17.5 microns, by 12¢ for 18.0 microns, up by 4¢ for 18.5 microns, by 5¢ for 19.0 microns and was unchanged for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was down by 7¢ clean, 21.0 microns by 1¢, 22.0 microns by 6¢, 23.0 microns was up by 1¢, and 24.0 microns was down by 1¢.

Prices for skirting types were firm or slightly up for the better types, but eased for the lesser types carrying high VM contents. Oddments eased on Wednesday, before finishing generally unchanged in the North and the West and on a strong upward note in the South. Good competition for crossbred wools saw their average MPGs rise by 1¢ at the fine end, by 15¢ for medium types and by 8¢ for coarse crossbreds.

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