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Wool market up; skirting types in keen demand again
19
Jun '09
The Australian wool market finished 0.6% higher, on average, at small sales in Sydney and Melbourne this week.

The AWEX EMI rose by 4¢ (+0.5%), ending the week at 775¢/kg. This reflected rises of 5¢ (+0.6%) in the North and 4¢ (+0.5%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 796¢ and 757¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator remained unchanged at 767¢, as there was no sale in Fremantle this week.

In a two day sale in Sydney and a one day sale in Melbourne, the AWEX EMI rose by 4¢ on Wednesday and was unchanged on Thursday.

17,206 bales were on offer, compared with 31,324 bales last week, when all three regions sold. 13.1% were passed in, comprised of 10.3% in Sydney and 15.8% in Melbourne, resulting in 14,957 bales being cleared to the trade. The pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 16.4% and 9.0%, respectively. 1,757 bales (9.3%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 18.8% of this week's offering.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 0.59¢ lower on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was then down by a further 1.06¢ on Tuesday, up by 0.20¢ on Wednesday and down by 0.11¢ on Thursday to close at 79.38¢, down 1.56¢ (-1.9%) since the last sale. The exchange rate against the Euro fell by 0.74 Euro cents (-1.3%) to close at 56.95 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved down by 9¢ (-1.4%) in US terms and by 4¢ (-0.9%) in Euro terms.

The market held onto the gains made last week after three weeks of falling prices. The trade reports that there was good competition, particularly for the better types. Hopefully, the smaller offerings of less than 40,000 bales in each of the three weeks leading up to the mid-year break will ensure that prices hold onto their current levels, or move up in this period of economic uncertainty.

Changes in the Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from -0.1% (19.0 and 20.0 microns) to +1.9% (17.5 microns), with the upwards movements greatest from 17.5 to 18.5 microns. Average MPGs were up by 2¢ clean for 17.0 microns, by 22¢ for 17.5 microns, by 11¢ for 18.0 microns, by 16¢ for 18.5 microns, down by 1¢ for 19.0 microns and up by 4¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was down by 1¢ clean, 21.0 microns was up by 3¢, 22.0 microns was unchanged, 23.0 microns was up by 3¢, and 24.0 microns by 12¢.

Skirting types were in keen demand again, with prices up in the North and holding in the South. Fine and medium crossbred average MPGs were up by around 3¢ clean (+0.5%) whereas they were down by 3¢ (-0.8%) at the coarse end. Oddments were generally easier with the average AWEX Merino Cardings Indicator down by 2¢ (-0.4%)

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

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 35,070 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales are 37,650 and 34,000 bales, respectively, a decrease of 18.6% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

The current estimated offerings for the next three weeks have fallen progressively since first reported and are now 16.7% less, on average, than when first notified to the trade.

Sales are in recess in South Africa.

Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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