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Wool market finishes 0.4% lower
08
Mar '10
The Australian wool market finished 0.4% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 1.6%.

43,257 bales were on offer, compared with 46,144 bales last week, of which 12.8% were passed in, comprised of 11.2% in Sydney, 12.2% in Melbourne and 16.4% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 16.1% and 6.8%, respectively.

1,418 bales (3.2%) from the expected offering of 44,675 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 8.5% of the final offering. 37,741 bales were cleared to the trade.

The market opened on a weaker note on Wednesday, but picked up during the day when two major buyers lifted their activity. The market was up in both A$ and US$ on the day. The market eased again on Thursday, with the medium and broader wools the least affected. The fine wools in the North were coming off last week's Newcastle sale.

There were suggestions of tighter access to finance in China being a contributing factor to the softer market. It has been widely reported in the financial media in recent weeks that the Chinese Central Bank has tightened lending policy to prevent growth from occurring too rapidly.

Skirtings were in good demand on Wednesday (particularly the burry types) apart from the West. They had an easier day on Thursday in line with fleece types, except in the North where prices remained firm. A large offering of Crossbreds in the South led to a further easing among these wools that was greatest for 26 and 28 micron wools. Their average MPGs came back by around 3%. Oddments had a mixed week, with some types holding firm on Wednesday and others slipping on both days. The average AWEX Merino Cardings MPG fell by 14¢ (-2.2%), but is still up by 141¢ (+28.3%) since Sale 1.

Buyers for China were again dominant, followed by buyers for Taiwan, Europe and India.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 37,034 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 38 and 39) are 42,810 and 40,900 bales, respectively; a decrease of 10.3% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 3.5% since last week against a 2.5% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 1.9% appreciation against the Euro. 11,273 bales were on offer.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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