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Small losses among medium & broader wools
Oct '09
The Australian wool market finished 0.7% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by another 2.3% to 92.23¢ on Thursday.

The AWEX EMI was unchanged, ending the week at 848¢/kg. This reflected a rise of 2¢ (+0.2%) in the North and a decrease of 3¢ (-0.4%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 876¢ and 824¢ clean, respectively.

The Western Indicator fell by 17¢ (-2.0%), finishing the week at 850¢. There was no sale in the West last Thursday. Hence, a more meaningful East / West comparison is the change between Wednesday of last week and Thursday of this week. Both the EMI and the WMI fell by 17¢ over this period In a two day sale in Sydney and Melbourne, the AWEX EMI fell by 5¢ on Wednesday and rose by 5¢ on Thursday. The Western Indicator fell by 17¢ on Wednesday and was unchanged on Thursday in a two day sale in Fremantle.

45,455 bales were on offer, compared with 45,392 bales last week, of which 10.9% were passed in, comprised of 8.6% in Sydney, 10.4% in Melbourne and 14.5% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 11.6% and 8.2%, respectively. 2,346 bales (4.9%) from the expected offering of 47,801 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 8.1% of the final offering. 40,492 bales were cleared to the trade.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 0.11¢ higher on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was then up by a further 0.46¢ on Tuesday, by 0.60¢ on Wednesday and by 0.90¢ on Thursday to close at 92.23¢, up 2.07¢ (+2.3%) since the last sale. The exchange rate against the Euro rose by 0.57 Euro cents (+0.9%) to close at 61.66 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved up by 17¢ (+2.2%) in US terms and by 5¢ (+1.0%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.

It was a mixed market this week with an uneasy start on Wednesday, although the EMI was only down by 5¢ in US currency. Thursday's market started cautiously, but finished on a good note with strong competition in the room. Most of the losses on Wednesday were recovered, or nearly recovered, on Thursday. Once again, the changes in Australian currency do not reflect the strength of the market, with the EMI up by 17¢ in US currency.

Changes in the Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from -2.2% (24.0 microns) to +1.4% (19.0 microns) with the gains occurring at the fine end and small losses among the medium and broader wools. Average MPGs were up by 7¢ clean for 16.5 microns, by 13¢ for 17.0 microns, by 10¢ for 17.5 microns, by 5¢ for 18.0 microns, by 6¢ for 18.5 microns, by 14¢ for 19.0 microns and down by 1¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was down by 5¢ clean, 21.0 microns by 2¢, 22.0 microns by 5¢, 23.0 microns by 8¢, and 24.0 microns by 17¢.

Merino skirtings eased on Wednesday, but recovered those losses on Thursday when competition was very keen, particularly among the wools with heavier vegetable matter. Crossbred types also slipped on Wednesday (particularly at the fine end in the South) before the medium and coarse types recovered on Thursday. Oddments did not experience the recovery that other types did on Thursday and finished the week on a softer note with the Merino Cardings MPG down by 11¢ (-2%).

Buyers for China came back strongly after easing slightly last week. They were followed by buyers for India and for Europe.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 48,244 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 18 and 19) are 54,460 and 47,200 bales, respectively; an increase of 8.8% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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