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Wool market finishes 2.4% lower
Apr '10
The Australian wool market finished 2.4% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 0.5%.

46,270 bales were on offer, compared with 42,883 bales last week. Pass-in rates were very high, as sellers reacted to the sudden fall in the market. The overall pass-in rate was 23.1%, comprised of 18.3% in Sydney, 19.7% in Melbourne and 35.7% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 32.3% and 10.2%, respectively.

1,298 bales (2.7%) from the expected offering of 47,568 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 9.2% of the final offering. 35,586 bales were cleared to the trade.

The US Exchange rate had an “up and down” week, while the Euro exchange rate remained at record levels above 68¢.

This week saw the second easing in the market since the lift when sales resumed in January. Sales opened in a “watch and see” mode on both days, while the market found a new level before serious competition resumed. The market finished on a better note than it started on both days. All types and all micron ranges were affected. Some of the key buyers for China were noticeably quieter, while one who has been less active in recent weeks was a much keener bidder this week. The EMI has averaged 922¢ since January, well above the levels seen in the first half of the season when it averaged 839¢.

Prices for skirting types fell along similar lines to those for fleece types with the exception of Sydney on Wednesday, where AWEX quoted prices as firm on the previous day. Crossbred prices were also down with falls of around 3% in their average AWEX MPGs. Oddments were down also, but generally by less than fleece and skirting types. The average AWEX Merino Cardings MPG was down by 9¢ (-1.4%).

Buyers for China were again dominant, followed by buyers for Europe, Taiwan, and India. It was the second week in a row when strong buying for Europe occurred.

Sales are in recess next week (Week 41) and resume in the week commencing 12 April (Week 42), when 51,524 bales are currently rostered for sale in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle. The present estimate for the following sale (Week 43) is 46,150 bales; a decrease of 6.1% over the two sale period when compared with last year.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 3.2% since the last sale two weeks ago against a 0.1% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 2.4% appreciation against the Euro. 12,775 bales were on offer.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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