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Demand for Skirting types again good
Sep '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 rose by a further 2.4%.

40,660 bales were on offer, compared with 39,016 bales last week. 10.6% were passed in, comprised of 10.2% in Sydney, 10.5% in Melbourne and 11.5% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 11.6% and 10.8%, respectively.

1,598 bales (3.8%) from the expected offering of 42,258 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 10.9% of the final offering. 36,347 bales were cleared to the trade.

The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 2,945 bales in Melbourne on Tuesday of which 4.5% were passed in.

The rise in exchange rates continued this week, as the US dollar weakened against all currencies. This appears to have been partly influenced by falling investor confidence and partly by the United States Federal Reserve's decision to leave official interest rates unchanged at 0.25%.

The market opened in a similar manner to last week, with strong demand, but with the gains in US currency masked by a 2.3% increase in the US exchange rate from last Thursday to this Wednesday. The strength continued on Thursday when another 4¢ rise in the EMI in US currency took the total gains for the week in US terms to 19¢. The only soft spot in the market was at the Ultrafine level, but this will be better tested in Newcastle next week.

Demand for Skirting types was again good, but prices generally eased in A$ terms because of the increase in the US exchange rate. Crossbred average AWEX MPGs were either unchanged or slightly down in A$, but up in US$. It was a better week for oddments, with the average AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide up by 5¢ (0.9%).

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

Sales will be held in Newcastle, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 35,346 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 14 and 15) are 45,711 and 42,950 bales, respectively; a decrease of 6.5% over the three sale period when compared with last year. The New Zealand Merino Company is rostered to offer 2,800 bales in Week 14.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 1.5% since last week's sale, against a 0.8% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 2.0% depreciation against the Euro. 7,576 bales were on offer.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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