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Australian wool market closes 0.8% lower
Jul '10
The Australian wool market finished 0.8% lower, on average at the first sales of the new season in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 2.4%.

51,094 bales were on offer, compared with 27,605 bales at the last sale. 10.2% were passed in, comprised of 7.6% in Sydney, 8.3% in Melbourne and 16.6% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 10.9% and 8.8%, respectively.

552 bales (1.1%) from the expected offering of 51,646 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 10.0% of the final offering. 45,873 bales were cleared to the trade.

As is usually the case, the offering was large by comparison with the closing sales in June, with a number of growers waiting for the new financial year before offering their wool for sale.

Both the US and Euro exchange rates rose sharply overnight on Wednesday and move up further on Thursday. This has been attributed to the good local employment data and to improved global sentiment (in a rebound from the previous week when unemployment data from the United States lowered sentiment). The US exchange rate is at its highest level since mid May.

It was another week in which the US exchange rate played a major role in the level of the market, but in the reverse pattern of last week when the US exchange rate fell on the second day of selling. Prices in Australia currency were unchanged on Wednesday due to a further fall in the exchange rate buffering the weaker prices in US currency. The sudden large increase in the US exchange rate on Thursday saw the EMI down by 10¢ in A$, but up by 13¢ in US.

Merino wools at the fine end did best this week, as was the case last week.

Skirting types prices were mixed this week and generally down. Average AWEX Crossbred MPGs were down over all micron ranges, varying from -0.2% at 30 microns to -2.1% at 26 microns. Oddments were again down, with the average AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide down by 12¢ (-1.8%), mostly due to an 18¢ fall in the South.

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

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 40,600 bales are currently rostered for sale, a 0.4% increase when compared with the same sale last year. Sales then go into the annual mid-year three week recess.

Sales are in recess in South Africa until 18 August.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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