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Australian Wool Market - Weekly Review
Jan '09
The Australian wool market finished 1.5% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week.

The AWEX EMI fell by 16¢ (-2.1%), ending the week at 744¢/kg. This reflected falls of 19¢ (-2.4%) in the North and 13¢ (-1.8%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 769¢ and 724¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator fell by 2¢ (-0.3%), finishing the week at 713¢.

In a three day sale in Sydney and Melbourne, the AWEX EMI fell by 10¢ on Tuesday, rose by 3¢ on Wednesday and fell by 9¢ on Thursday. The Western Indicator was unchanged on Wednesday and fell by 2¢ on Thursday in a two day sale in Fremantle.

61,867 bales were on offer, compared with 52,849 bales last week, of which 11.7% were passed in, comprised of 10.1% in Sydney, 12.0% in Melbourne and 13.0% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 13.3% and 10.4%, respectively. 2,323 bales (3.6%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 14.3% of this week's offering.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 2.29¢ higher on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was then down by 2.09¢ on Tuesday, by 0.65¢ on Wednesday and up by 0.54¢ on Thursday to close at 65.90¢, up 0.09¢ (+0.1%) since the last sale. The exchange rate against the Euro rose by 0.61 Euro cents (+1.2%) to close at 50.54 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved down by 10¢ (-2.0%) in US terms and by 3¢ (-0.8%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.

The market opened on a softer note in a larger sale this week, in which currency continued to fluctuate widely and it was the last sale before Chinese New Year. It settled in A$ on Wednesday when the US exchange rate eased, before falling again on Thursday. The trade reports an increasing amount of tender wool.

Changes in the AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from -4.0% (18.0 microns) to -1.0% (23.0 microns) with the downward movements generally greatest among the fine wools. Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) were down by 17¢ clean for 16.5 microns, by 32¢ for 17.0 microns, by 39¢ for 17.5 microns, by 44¢ for 18.0 microns, by 25¢ for 18.5 microns, by 13¢ for 19.0 microns and by 10¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was down by 14¢ clean, 21.0 microns by 10¢, 22.0 microns by 7¢, 23.0 microns by 7¢, and 24.0 microns by 12¢.

Prices for Merino skirtings also eased generally, other than for the better types on Wednesday as competition was not as strong as usual. Crossbred prices finished down on the last sale, with their average MPGs falling by around 6¢ at the fine end and by 0 to 2¢ among the medium and coarse types. Oddments were in strong demand again this week with the Merino Cardings average MPG finishing 9¢ (+1.9%) up for the week on top of last week's gain of 18¢ (+3.9%).

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