Upwards movement in Merino wools MPGs
The Australian wool market finished 2.3% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week.
The AWEX EMI rose by 14¢ (+1.9%), ending the week at 765¢/kg. This reflected rises of 12¢ (+1.5%) in the North and 17¢ (+2.3%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 787¢ and 747¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator rose by 22¢ (+3.1%), finishing the week at 730¢.
In a two day sale in Sydney and Melbourne, the AWEX EMI rose by 6¢ on Wednesday and by 8¢ on Thursday. The Western Indicator rose by 19¢ on Wednesday and by 3¢ on Thursday in a two day sale in Fremantle.
47,174 bales were on offer, compared with 45,712 bales last week, of which 5.4% were passed in, comprised of 3.8% in Sydney, 5.1% in Melbourne and 7.2% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 5.8% and 3.1%, respectively. 2,062 bales (4.2%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 12.5% of this week's offering.
The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 1.50¢ lower on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was then up by 0.40¢ on Tuesday, by 0.10¢ on Wednesday and by 1.50¢ on Thursday to close at 70.33¢, up 0.50¢ (+0.7%) since the last sale. The exchange rate against the Euro rose by 1.52 Euro cents (+3.0%) to close at 53.00 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved up by 14¢ (+2.7%) in US terms and by 18¢ (+4.7%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.
It was the first time the US exchange rate has been above 70¢ since early January and the first time the Euro exchange rate moved above 53 Euro cents since October last year. The increase in the strength of the A$ appears due to the strong balance of payment figures for February that were announced on Thursday.
It was very good week with widespread competition, rises across all Merino and cross bred micron ranges on both days and the pass-in rate at its lowest level for the season.. It was the firth week in a row in which the AWEX EMI moved up. Once again the rises occurred despite a further appreciation in the US exchange rate. While there are indications of restocking taking place overseas, concerns about supply probably have heightened following the downward revision of the National Wool Production Forecast (see below)
Changes in the Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from +1.3% (17.5 and 18.0 microns) to +3.1% (18.5 microns) with the upwards movement spread across all Merino micron ranges. Average MPGs were up by 31¢ clean for 16.5 microns, by 27¢ for 17.0 microns, by 16¢ for 17.5 microns, by 15¢ for 18.0 microns, by 33¢ for 18.5 microns, by 25¢ for 19.0 microns and by 17¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was up by 18¢ clean, 21.0 microns by 19¢, 22.0 microns by 16¢, 23.0 microns by 15¢, and 24.0 microns by 10¢.
Merino skirtings were in strong demand on both days, as were crossbred types. The Average MPGs for 26, 28 and 30 microns rose by 3.3%, 5.0% and 4.9% respectively. Oddments eased on Wednesday, but recovered their losses on Thursday. The Merino cardings average MPG finished 1¢ up on Thursday night.