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Pass-in rates for Merino fleece & cross bred up
Aug '09
The Australian wool market finished 1.6% lower, on average, in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle when sales resumed after the mid-year break against an increase of 7.2% in the US exchange rate.

The AWEX EMI fell by 12¢ (-1.5%), ending the week at 774¢/kg. This reflected falls of 12¢ (-1.5%) in the North and 12¢ ( 1.6%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 796¢ and 759¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator fell by 13¢ (-1.7%), finishing the week at 758¢.

In a two day sale in Sydney and Melbourne, the AWEX EMI fell by 20¢ on Wednesday and rose by 8¢ on Thursday. The Western Indicator fell by 13¢ on Wednesday in a one day sale in Fremantle.

48,120 bales were on offer, compared with 40,453 bales at the last sale before the break. 15.3% were passed in, comprised of 10.7% in Sydney, 18.8% in Melbourne and 18.0% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 17.1% and 7.6%, respectively. 2,026 bales (4.0%) from the expected offering of 50,146 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 8.4% of the final offering. 40,764 bales were cleared to the trade.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 5.58¢ higher on Tuesday (Monday was a Bank Holiday) when compared with the last sale on 8 July. It was down by 0.14¢ on Wednesday and up by 0.24¢ on Thursday to close at 84.37¢, up 5.68¢ (+7.2%) since the last sale. The exchange rate against the Euro rose by 2.02 Euro cents (+3.6%) to close at 58.57 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved up by 34¢ (+5.5%) in US terms and by 9¢ (+2.0%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.

The strength of the A$, which is at its highest level since last August, appears to be due to an expectation that official interests rates will not be lowered in Australia and concerns about the US economy.

It was a good week with widespread and keen competition, particularly on Thursday. Unfortunately, the level of competition was masked by the 7.2% rise in the US exchange rate which saw the market move down in A$ despite the AWEX EMI moving up by 25 US¢ on Wednesday and another 9 US¢ on Thursday. The negative effects of the high exchange rate were reflected in high pass-in rates for Merino fleece and for cross bred types.

Changes in the Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from -3.3% (17.0 microns) to +0.4% (20.0 microns) with the downward movements generally spread across all Merino micron ranges apart from the 20 micron wools. Average MPGs were down by 40¢ for 17.0 microns, by 25¢ for 17.5 microns, by 20¢ for 18.0 microns, by 12¢ for 18.5 microns, by 18¢ for 19.0 microns and by 13¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was up by 3¢ clean, 21.0 microns was down by 5¢, 22.0 microns by 10¢, 23.0 microns by 13¢, and 24.0 microns by 21¢.

Merino skirtings had a very good week, with a good clearanceto the trade on both days. Prices in A$ for crossbred types were the most affected of all wool types, with falls in their average MPGs of 6 to 9%, which meant little change in US prices. The losses occurred on Wednesday (when they appeared to be in more plentiful supply) and stabilised, or moved up, on Thursday. Demand for oddments was also masked by the increase in exchange rates, with a downward movement of 6¢ ( 1.2%) in the average Merino Cardings MPG.

Buyers for China were dominant followed by those buying for India with a welcome return of some solid buying for Europe.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 41,495 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales are 39,070 and 41,100 bales, respectively; an increase of 2.5% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

Sales are in recess in South Africa.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc

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