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AWEX Merino Cardings MPG down by 22¢
May '10
The Australian wool market finished 0.1% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 2.2%.

42,676 bales were on offer, compared with 38,877 bales last week, of which 11.5% were passed in, comprised of 9.8% in Sydney, 8.4% in Melbourne and 21.7% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 12.4% and 8.8%, respectively.

1,636 bales (3.7%) from the expected offering of 44,312 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 14.4% of the final offering. 37,782 bales were cleared to the trade.

Financial commentators indicate that the fall in the US exchange rate this week (particularly on Friday when the Reserve Bank closing quote was 88.79¢) is mostly due to the Greek financial crisis and the associated global uncertainty that saw sharp downturns in international share markets during the week.

The market steadied this week in A$, as the US exchange rate fell sharply on Wednesday. The trade reports that there was widespread strong competition in the sale rooms; and that the better types of fine wool picked up premiums in the North. Gains were obtained across most Merino micron ranges, but were not sufficient to lift the EMI in US terms. The strongest gains occurred at the finer end.

The prices for skirting types, although mixed, generally finished on a firm note. Crossbred types again experienced small increases, ranging from 2¢ to 6¢, across all micron ranges. Oddments eased sharply, continuing the falls seen in recent sales. The average AWEX Merino Cardings MPG was down by 22¢ (-3.7%), but is still 19% above where it was at the beginning of the season.

Buyers for China were still less aggressive than at their peak earlier in this year. But, they were again the major buyers, followed by buyers for Europe, India and Taiwan.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 40,704 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 47 and 48) are 43,945 and 40,320 bales, respectively; an increase of 1.2% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

Sales are in recess in South Africa.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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