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Wool market up
Jul '10
The Australian wool market finished 0.1% higher, on average, at the last sales of the season in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 2%.

27,605 bales were on offer, compared with 25,721 bales last week (when only Sydney and Melbourne sold). 9.8% were passed in, comprised of 6.9% in Sydney and in Melbourne and 17.2% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 11.3% and 4.5%, respectively.

589 bales (2.1%) from the expected offering of 28,194 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 16.7% of the final offering. 24,894 bales were cleared to the trade.

The US exchange rate rose on Monday before falling on Tuesday to finish 0.53¢ below last week's close on Tuesday. A fall in the Chinese and United States share markets overnight on Tuesday led to a further fall in the US exchange rate on Wednesday. This was associated with the traditional flight to the safe currency of the United States in moments of uncertainty.

It was a week in which the US exchange rate played a major role, with the EMI down in both Australian (slightly) and in US currency on Tuesday, but up in Australian currency (while down further in US) on Wednesday due to the fall in the exchange rate. Falls in share markets, such as those seen this week, and the consequent uncertainty invariably result in a more cautious approach from Australia's customers.

The overall result was that prices for all Merino types and micron ranges finished up on the previous week, with the fine wools doing better than the medium and broad wool in a reverse of the trend seen in recent weeks.

Skirting types were in good demand again, finishing the week with prices up on last week. Average AWEX Crossbred MPGs were up at the fine end (+1.4%), marginally down in the medium types (-0.5%) and unchanged at the coarse end. Oddments eased this week, mostly due to a 20¢ fall in the AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide in the South on Tuesday. The average overall week-to-week change for this Indicator was -8¢ (-1.3%).

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

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week in the first sale of the new season, when 49,446 bales are currently rostered for sale. The present estimate for the following sale (Week 02) is 29,686 bales; an increase of 7.0% over the two sale period when compared with last year. A three week break commences in Week 03.

Sales are in recess in South Africa until 18 August.

Changes over the Season

The week's closing EMI rose by 123¢ (+15.9%) to Week 53 in Australian currency and by 142¢ (+22.8%) in US currency.

The average EMI for the season was up by 78¢ (+9.8%) in Australian currency and by 185¢ (+31.5%) in US currency

The following table shows the changes in the average AWEX Merino MPGs since Week 01 last year.

Other average AWEX Price Guides varied from Week 01 to Week 53 as follows:

26.0 microns +12¢ +1.9% 28.0 microns -6¢ -1.3%
30.microns 0¢ 0.0% 32 microns +27¢ +7.9%
Merino Cardings +129¢ +25.9%

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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