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Wool market finishes 4.2% higher
01
May '09
The Australian wool market finished 4.2% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week.

The AWEX EMI rose by 33¢ (+4.2%), ending the week at 823¢/kg. This reflected rises of 33¢ (+4.1%) in the North and the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 845¢ and 804¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator rose by 32¢ (+4.3%), finishing the week at 781¢.

In a two day sale in Sydney and Melbourne, the AWEX EMI rose by 30¢ on Wednesday and by 3¢ on Thursday. The Western Indicator rose by 35¢ on Wednesday and fell by 3¢ on Thursday in a two day sale in Fremantle.

40,825 bales were on offer, compared with 57,952 bales last week, of which 4.8% were passed in, comprised of 3.7% in Sydney, 3.4% in Melbourne and 8.1% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 4.9% and 3.3%, respectively. 1,888 bales (4.4%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 9.9% of this week's offering.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 0.45¢ higher on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was then down by 1.15¢ on Tuesday, up by 1.13¢ on Wednesday and by 1.38¢ on Thursday to close at 72.65¢, up 1.81¢ (+2.6%) since the last sale. The exchange rate against the Euro rose by 0.22 Euro cents (+0.4%) to close at 54.60 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved up by 38¢ (+6.8%) in US terms and by 19¢ (+4.4%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.

The EMI in US terms (598¢) has risen by 19.6% since the first sale of the New Year in January.

It was very strong market with very keen competition for all types and micron ranges. The rise of 30¢ in the EMI on Wednesday took the EMI to over 800¢ for the first time since mid-October. Competition remained strong at these price levels again on Thursday. The largest relative increases were seen in the medium wools this week, which differs from the pattern of recent weeks when the fine wools made the greatest gains.

There were reports of significant amounts of business being done at the end of last week. The combination of low stocks and falling wool production remains a key factor in the current market, as it continues to rise despite the increases in the US exchange rate.

Changes in the Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from +1.1% (16.5 microns) to +4.8% (20.0 microns). Average MPGs were up by 17¢ clean for 16.5 microns, by 23¢ for 17.0 microns, by 21¢ for 17.5 microns, by 36¢ for 18.0 microns, by 35¢ for 18.5 microns, by 26¢ for 19.0 microns and by 41¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was up by 40¢ clean, 21.0 microns by 32¢, 22.0 microns by 31¢, 23.0 microns by 26¢, and 24.0 microns by 29¢.

Merino skirtings, continued to be in strong demand with reported price rises of up to 50¢ greasy for the better fine types in the South and of up to 30 to 40¢ greasy for low VM 19 to 20 micron wools in the North on Wednesday. Crossbreds were also in very strong demand with increases of 4% to 6% in their average AWEX MPGs. Oddments had a good week, apart from an easing in the South on Thursday. The average AWEX Merino Cardings MPG was up by 9¢ (1.8%).

Buyers for China dominated sales this week followed by support from India.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 42,369 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales are 39,330 and 41,600 bales, respectively, a decrease of 9.2% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

There were no sales in South Africa this week. They will resume next week.

Australian Wool Innovation

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