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Wool market finishes 0.9% higher
10
Oct '08
The Australian wool market finished 0.9% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week.

The AWEX EMI rose by 10¢ (+1.2%), ending the week at 868¢/kg. This reflected rises of 6¢ (+0.7%) in the North and 14¢ (+1.7%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 909¢ and 834¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator rose by 2¢ (+0.2%), finishing the week at 820¢.

In a three day sale in Melbourne and a two day sale in Sydney, the AWEX EMI rose by 5¢ on Tuesday, by 4¢ on Wednesday and by 1¢ on Thursday. The Western Indicator rose by 7¢ on Wednesday and fell by 5¢ on Thursday in a two day sale in Fremantle.

52,414 bales were on offer, compared with 45,189 bales last week, of which 11.2% were passed in, comprised of 8.8% in Sydney, 11.0% in Melbourne and 14.8% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 12.6% and 12.1%, respectively. 2,203 bales (4.0%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 14.2% of this week's offering.

The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 3,662 bales in Melbourne on Wednesday of which 59.4% were passed in. 70 bales (1.9%) were withdrawn prior to sale and 2.5% of the bales were re-offers.

Exchange rates experienced record daily changes and within-day fluctuations of greater than 5¢ as the global financial turmoil continued this week and the Reserve Bank lowered the cash rate by 1% on Tuesday. The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 6.85¢ lower on Tuesday when compared with Thursday of last week (Monday was a Bank Holiday).

It was down by 1.72¢ on Wednesday and by 1.35¢ on Thursday to close at 69.16¢, down 9.92¢ (-12.5%) since the last sale. The exchange rate against the Euro fell by 6.04 Euro cents (-10.7%) to close at 50.60 Euro cents on Thursday night.

When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved down by 79¢ (-11.6%) in US terms on top of last week's 40¢ fall and by 47¢ (-9.7%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale. The price of 600¢ in US terms is 309¢ below the peak seen in January this year compared with a change of 185¢ in Australian currency.

The impact of the continuing financial uncertainty throughout the world was compounded this week by the wide and rapid changes in exchange rates. Although the market firmed in A$, this can be attributed to the 12.5% depreciation in the US exchange rate. The AWEX EMI was up by 10¢ and prices lifted across all types and most micron ranges.

Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) were down by 10¢ clean for 16.5 microns, up by 4¢ for 17.0 microns, by 1¢ for 17.5 microns, down by 4¢ for 18.0 microns, up by 11¢ for 18.5 microns, by 21¢ for 19.0 microns and by 13¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was up by 7¢ clean, 21.0 microns by 1¢, 22.0 microns was unchanged, 23.0 microns was down by 1¢, and 24.0 microns was up by 5¢.

Prices for skirtings rose during the week, as did those for oddments. Crossbreds had another good week with rises in their average MPGs of around 10¢ at the fine end and around 25 to 30¢ for medium and coarse types.

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