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Wool market finishes 0.3% higher
Mar '09
The Australian wool market finished 0.3% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week.

The AWEX EMI rose by 3¢ (+0.4%), ending the week at 725¢/kg. This reflected a fall of 3¢ (-0.4%) in the North (which was coming off a Newcastle sale last week), and an increase of 7¢ (+1.0%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 749¢ and 707¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator rose by 3¢ (+0.4%), finishing the week at 697¢.

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

47,621 bales were on offer, compared with 49,575 bales last week, of which 8.0% were passed in, comprised of 10.7% in Sydney, 6.5% in Melbourne and 5.9% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 8.2% and 9.5%, respectively. 2,615 bales (5.2%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 14.2% of this week's offering.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 1.76¢ lower on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was then up by 0.64¢ on Tuesday, down by 0.64¢ on Wednesday and up by 1.07¢ on Thursday to close at 64.33¢, down 0.69¢ (-1.1%) since the last sale. The exchange rate against the Euro fell by 0.06 Euro cents (-0.1%) to close at 50.99 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved down by 3¢ (-0.6%) in US terms and was up by 1¢ (+0.3%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.

As is often the case, the wide fluctuations in the US exchange rate appeared to be at least partly related to the timing of the monthly meeting of the Reserve Bank on Tuesday and the impending release of key Australian economic data.

It was another steady week with the market relatively unchanged in Australian and US currency for the second week in a row, despite the wide fluctuations in the US exchange rate. The market finished slightly up on Wednesday and held onto those gains in a much larger sale on Thursday. It was also a better week for the fine wools with all of their MPGs finishing above the previous week's level and doing better than the medium and broader types. Some better type fine wools attracted keen competition in the South yesterday.

Changes in the Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from -0.7% (21.0 microns) to +1.9% (18.0 microns. Average MPGs were up by 8¢ clean for 16.5 microns, by 17¢ for 17.0 microns, by 14¢ for 17.5 microns, by 20¢ for 18.0 microns, by 7¢ for 18.5 microns, by 4¢ for 19.0 microns and by 5¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was down by 3¢ clean, 21.0 microns by 5¢, 22.0 microns by 1¢, 23.0 microns was up by 1¢, and 24.0 microns was down by 3¢.

Demand was strong for Merino skirtings, particularly in the South where good gains werereported on both days. Crossbreds had a mixed week, with some gains on Wednesday followed by falls yesterday to finish down in all micron ranges apart from 28 microns where the average MPG was up by 2¢. Oddments were up, apart from the first day's selling in the North where there was an easing after the previous week's sale in Newcastle. The Merino Cardings average MPG continued its upward movement since Christmas, adding another 5¢ this week.

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