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Wool market finishes 0.7% lower
Mar '10
The Australian wool market finished 0.7% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 1.1%.

42,883 bales were on offer, compared with 43,173 bales last week. 11.0% were passed in, comprised of 8.0% in Sydney, 9.7% in Melbourne and 15.5% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 13.8% and 4.3%, respectively.

1,322 bales (3.0%) from the expected offering of 44,205 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 8.9% of the final offering. 38,153 bales were cleared to the trade.

The US Exchange rate eased slightly, while the Euro exchange rate continued to set even higher records this week when it finished at 68.38¢. This is the first time 68¢ has been reached.

Although the market was down slightly on each day (and more so in US currency), trade reports indicate there was widespread competition. The downward tread reflected a continuation of the trend seen in Fremantle last Thursday when the Western Market Indicator eased by 2¢ in contrast to the 3¢ rise in the Eastern Market Indicator. The changes this week were similar across the micron ranges with the least effects seen at 17.0, 17.5, 19.0 and 24.0 microns.

The highest price paid this week was 2,900¢ greasy for a 12.7 micron bale in Melbourne on Wednesday. A more modest price after last week's top price of 170,000¢ for a bale of 11.4 micron wool.

Demand for skirtings was very keen with prices generally moving up on both days, whereas prices for fleece types eased. Crossbred prices eased, with their average MPGs down by around 1%. Oddments eased slightly on Wednesday and recovered most of the previous day's losses on Thursday. The average Merino Cardings MPG finished down by 3¢ (-0.5%).

Buyers for China were again dominant, followed by buyers for Europe, Taiwan, and India. Buying for Europe has been lifting over recent weeks and reached a new level this week when the major buyer for the week was buying for Europe. It is understood that the European demand is mostly for knitwear.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 49,089 bales are currently rostered for sale. Sales are in recess in Week 41 (the week following Easter) and will resume in Week 42 when 50,000 bales are currently rostered for sale; an increase of 6.3% over the two sale period when compared with last year.

Sales are in recess in South Africa.

Click here for more details.

Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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