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Australian wool market finishes 0.5% lower
Feb '09
The Australian wool market finished 0.5% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week.

The AWEX EMI fell by 5¢ (-0.7%), ending the week at 725¢/kg. This reflected falls of 6¢ (-0.8%) in the North and 5¢ ( 0.7%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 750¢ and 704¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator was unchanged, finishing the week at 702¢.

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

49,278 bales were on offer, compared with 51,310 bales last week, of which 11.1% were passed in, comprised of 8.9% in Sydney, 11.8% in Melbourne and 12.0% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 11.4% and 16.1%, respectively. 1,476 bales (2.9%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 14.8% of this week's offering.

The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 2,831 bales in Melbourne on Wednesday of which 25.4% were passed in. 108 bales (3.7%) were withdrawn prior to sale and 45.7% of the bales were re-offers.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 0.64¢ lower on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was then down by a further 0.88¢ on Tuesday, by 0.36¢ on Wednesday and up by 0.39¢ on Thursday to close at 64.31¢, down 1.49¢ (-2.3%) since the last sale.

The exchange rate against the Euro rose by 0.14 Euro cents (+0.3%) to close at 51.10 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved down by 14¢ (-2.9%) in US terms and by 2¢ (-0.5%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.

It was a mixed week, with the market opening on a downward note in US currency, that was buffered in A$ terms by a lower US exchange rate, before finishing with a small upward movement of 3¢ in US currency on Thursday.

Changes in the Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from -3.1% (16.5 microns) to +0.7% (24.0 microns). The finer wools were again the most affected, with most changes around -1%.

Average MPGs were down by 39¢ clean for 16.5 microns, by 11¢ for 17.0 microns, by 10¢ for 17.5 microns, by 13¢ for 18.0 microns, by 11¢ for 18.5 microns, by 8¢ for 19.0 microns and by 12¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was down by 2¢ clean, 21.0 microns was up by 1¢, 22.0 microns was down by 1¢, 23.0 microns by 3¢, and 24.0 microns was up by 5¢.

Prices for Merino skirtings moved down sharply on Tuesday (in Melbourne) before recovering as the week progressed. Crossbreds fared better than Merino types with increases over all micron groups including a 3% lift in the average MPGs for fine crossbreds and a 4% lift at the coarse end.

Oddments continued the moderate, but steady, upward trend seen in recent weeks with a 4¢ (+0.8%) rise in the Merino Cardings average MPG. This indicator has risen by 33¢ (+7.3%) since the last sale before Christmas.

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