Wool market finishes 5.4% higher
The Australian wool market finished 5.4% higher, on average, when sales resumed in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle after the three week break; and the exchange rate against the US$ rose by 3.4% since the last sale.
The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) rose by 47¢ (+5.3%), ending the week at 926¢/kg. This reflected rises of 50¢ (+5.5%) in the North and 44¢ (+5.1%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 955¢ and 902¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator rose by 48¢ (+5.5%), finishing the week at 924¢.
In a three day sale in Melbourne and a two day sale in Sydney, the AWEX EMI rose by 4¢ on Tuesday, by 21¢ on Wednesday and by 22¢ on Thursday. The Western Indicator rose by 30¢ on Wednesday and by 18¢ on Thursday in a two day sale in Fremantle.
It is the first time this season that all three Regional Indicators have been above 900¢. and the 9.0% increase in the EMI in US currency is the largest since September 2002. However, the EMI in US terms (861¢) is still 48¢ below the 2007/08 peak of 909¢.
46,004 bales were on offer, compared with 44,218 bales at the last sale before Christmas, of which 3.3% were passed in, comprised of 1.5% in Sydney, 3.3% in Melbourne and 5.3% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 2.3% and 2.1%, respectively. 1,450 bales (3.1%) from the expected offering of 47,454 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 7.8% of the final offering. 44,495 bales were cleared to the trade.
The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 3.16¢ higher on Monday when compared with Wednesday of the last sale in mid December. It was then down by 0.37¢ on Tuesday, by 0.34¢ on Wednesday and up by 0.58¢ on Thursday to close at 92.96¢, up 3.03¢ (+3.4%) since the last sale. The exchange rate against the Euro rose by 2.10 Euro cents (+3.4%) to close at 63.96 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved up by 71¢ (+9.0%) in US terms and by 48¢ (+8.8%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale
It was a very strong market this week, when prices held firm on Tuesday against the 3.1% increase in the US exchange rate from the last sale; and then rose sharply across all types and all micron ranges and in all currencies. There were trade reports of new business being done during the week as prices rose. Pass-in rates were at their lowest level for the season in all centres, with only 2.3% of Merino fleece types passed in. Chinese demand and concerns about supply continue to be a major driver of the market.
Changes in the Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from +3.9% (16.5, 19.0 and 19.5 microns) to +6.8% (21.0 microns). Average MPGs were up by 52¢ clean for 16.5 microns, by 62¢ for 17.0 microns, by 55¢ for 17.5 microns, by 53¢ for 18.0 microns, by 47¢ for 18.5 microns, by 43¢ for 19.0 microns and by 40¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was up by 52¢ clean, 21.0 microns by 66¢, 22.0 microns by 51¢, 23.0 microns by 60¢, and 24.0 microns by 53¢.