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Wool market finishes 1.9% lower
Feb '09
The Australian wool market finished 1.9% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne/Launceston and Fremantle this week.

The AWEX EMI fell by 13¢ (-1.7%), ending the week at 730¢/kg. This reflected falls of 13¢ (-1.7%) in the North and 13¢ (-1.8%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 756¢ and 709¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator fell by 16¢ (-2.2%), finishing the week at 702¢.

In a two day sale in Melbourne (Tuesday and Wednesday) and in Sydney (Wednesday and Thursday) plus a one day sale in Launceston (Friday), the AWEX EMI fell by 9¢ on Tuesday, by 3¢ on Wednesday, by 1¢ on Thursday and was unchanged on Friday. The Western Indicator fell by 18¢ on Wednesday and rose by 2¢ on Thursday in a two day sale in Fremantle.

51,310 bales were on offer, compared with 47,604 bales last week, of which 17.0% were passed in, comprised of 12.7% in Sydney, 16.9% in Melbourne, 23.9% in Launceston (28.1% for fleece types) and 20.2% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 16.3% and 24.9%, respectively. 1,532 bales (2.9%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 16.5% of this week's offering.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 2.58¢ higher on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was then down by 0.09¢ on Tuesday, by 1.35¢ on Wednesday and up by 0.29¢ on Thursday to close at 65.80¢, up 1.43¢ (+2.2%) since the last sale. The exchange rate against the Euro rose by 0.82 Euro cents (+1.6%) to close at 50.96 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved up by 2¢ (+0.4%) in US terms and was down by 1¢ (-0.3%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.

It was another week in which increases in the US exchange rate led to a fall in prices in A$ in each centre on their opening days of selling. Once having reached a new level in US currency, the market stabilised in A$ terms, allowing buyers to bid with some confidence. The Melbourne sale on Tuesday included a high proportion of Tasmanian wool (55%) that would have been sold in Launceston in the past. Prices paid for Tasmanian wool stored in Tasmania take into account the additional cost of moving the wool to Melbourne for overseas shipment. Today's sale in Launceston was disappointing given the quality of the offering

Changes in the Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from -2.7% (18.5 and 19.0 microns) to -0.1% (24.0 microns) with the downward movements greatest up to 20.0 microns and softening among the medium and broad types. Average MPGs were down by 21¢ for 17.0 microns, by 28¢ for 17.5 microns, by 24¢ for 18.0 microns, by 26¢ for 18.5 microns, by 24¢ for 19.0 microns and by 18¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was down by 19¢ clean, 21.0 microns by 12¢, 22.0 microns by 13¢, 23.0 microns by 9¢, and 24.0 microns by 1¢.

Prices for Merino skirtings tended to move in line with those for fleece types. Crossbreds were also down except for 30 micron wool which was up slightly (+0.5). The falls (-2.0% to -0.7%) were less than those for Merino types. Oddments had a good week with the Merino Cardings average MPG finishing up by 2¢ (+0.4%).

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