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Reasonable week for wool trading
Dec '09
The Australian wool market finished 0.1% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the exchange rate against the US$ fell by 1.6%.

The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) fell by 1¢ (-0.1%), ending the week at 872¢/kg. This reflected an unchanged Indicator in the North and a decrease of 2¢ (-0.2%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 901¢ and 847¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator fell by 1¢ (-0.1%), finishing the week at 880¢.

In a two day sale in Sydney and Melbourne, the AWEX EMI rose by 3¢ on Wednesday and fell by 4¢ on Thursday. The Western Indicator rose by 2¢ on Wednesday and fell by 3¢ on Thursday in a two day sale in Fremantle.

46,371 bales were on offer, compared with 46,803 bales last week, of which 9.2% were passed in, comprised of 5.1% in Sydney, 8.7% in Melbourne and 14.7% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 10.6% and 4.9%, respectively. 1,220 bales (2.6%) from the expected offering of 47,591 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 10.3% of the final offering. 42,086 bales were cleared to the trade.

The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 2,103 bales in Melbourne on Tuesday of which 8.7% were passed in. 60 bales (2.8%) were withdrawn prior to sale and 19.6% of the bales were re-offers.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 1.33¢ lower on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was then down by a further 0.21¢ on Tuesday, by 0.74¢ on Wednesday and up by 0.77¢ on Thursday to close at 91.36¢, down 1.51¢ (-1.6%) since the last sale.

The exchange rate against the Euro rose by 0.54 Euro cents (+0.9%) to close at 62.10 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved down by 14¢ (-1.7%) in US terms and was up by 5¢ (+0.9%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.

Overall, it was a reasonable week, but not as strong as the last two weeks. The EMI up on Day 1, when the US exchange rate fell; and down on Day 2 when the US exchange rate rose. The EMI was also up (by 3¢) in US Currency on Thursday. Although there were falls across all Merino micron ranges other than 24 microns, the falls were restricted to fleece types, with gains among the skirtings and oddments.

Changes in the Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from -1.3% (17.0 microns) to +0.3% (24.0 microns). Average MPGs were down by 10¢ clean for 16.5 microns, by 16¢ for 17.0 microns, by 4¢ for 17.5 microns, by 10¢ for 18.0 microns, by 9¢ for 18.5 microns, by 6¢ for 19.0 microns and by 3¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was down by 3¢ clean, 21.0 microns by 2¢, 22.0 microns by 6¢, 23.0 microns by 3¢, and 24.0 microns was up by 2¢.

The strong demand for all Merino skirtings types continued this week, with price gains on both days and another low pass-in rate of 4.9%. Crossbreds picked up from last week, with gains across the fine medium and coarse crossbred types. The increases ranged from +0.9% at 26 microns to around +2.5% for medium and coarse types. Oddments had a good week, with gains on both days and the average AWEX Merino Cardings MPG up by 9¢ (+1.6%).

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